In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
And the earth was waste and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep: and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.Genesis 1:1-4 ASV
This marvelous chapter is not history, for it provides information concerning events that antedate all history.
Creation is not myth, because it carries within it a credibility that never belonged to any myth. It is not science, because it deals with the BEGINNING, which no science has ever even attempted to describe.
For the preposterous and irresponsible fulminations of critical enemies of the Bible, and their utter futility and incompetence to cast any believable shadow upon the sacred truth here revealed, reference is made to the Introduction to Genesis elsewhere.
Suffice it to say here that this chapter contains and presents to human intelligence the ONLY believable account of creation ever to receive the serious attention of thoughtful minds.
We are concerned with what the Bible says, because it is the Word of God; and, a single syllable of it outweighs all of the vain speculations of unbelieving and sinful men.
THE FIRST DAY
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
There is absolutely nothing either unreasonable or hard to understand about this.
That there was indeed a beginning of our universe and the world we live in is absolutely certain.
For example, if some theory regarding how our galaxy (the universe) began from the explosion of a dense star, should be received as true, then how did the dense star begin?
The only intelligent answer to questions of this type appears in this verse.
“In the beginning …”
This says nothing at all of when the beginning occurred, but declares emphatically that there was indeed a beginning, a fact which no reputable science on earth has ever denied.
The source of that beginning was in the will and the power of the Eternal God.
It was not merely a beginning of life, or of material things, but a beginning of ALL THINGS.
“God created …”
Despite the plurality of this name, it is connected with verbs and adjectives in the singular.
Thus, in the very first verse of the Bible there would appear to be embedded embryonically in the very name of God Himself a suggestion:
(1) of the Trinitarian conception more fully revealed in the N.T., and
(2) also a witness of the unity of the Godhead.
Some have questioned this, of course; but we have never encountered any other adequate explanation of it.
“The heavens …”
There are three heavens visible in the Word of God, these being:
(1) the earth’s atmosphere, where “birds of the heaven” fly (Jeremiah 15:3);
(2) the heaven of the galaxies and constellations (Isaiah 13:10); and
(3) the heaven where God dwells (Psalms 11:4). The heavens here include the first two and perhaps others of which we do not know.
“And the earth …”
If our understanding of “the heavens” is correct, the earth and all the planets would have to be included also, but the singling out of the earth and its specific designation here would indicate God’s special creation of it to be the repository of all life, and of human life particularly.
Many learned men have written extensively concerning the multitude of physical and environmental factors which appear to be absolutely unique, found upon earth alone, the sum total of which supports and sustains life on our planet.
The gravitational influence of the moon, the exact composition of atmospheric gases, the atypical behavior of water when it freezes, the atmospheric mantle of protection, the exact inclination of the earth upon the plane of its orbit giving the seasons, the exact distance of the earth from the sun, etc., etc. – these and literally hundreds of other peculiar and necessary factors come together to make life possible on earth.
“And the earth was waste and void; and darkness was upon the face of the waters: and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”
“And the earth was waste and void …”
This refers to the state of the earth in the first phase of its creation, and it is also an apt description of the other planets as they are observed to continue in our solar system to the present time. Mars, Venus, Mercury, etc. are still waste and void.
It is not necessary to postulate billions of years between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2 in order to help God find the time to do all that He did for our earth.
If it should be supposed that God launched a waste and void earth upon a journey that required billions of years to accomplish His wise designs, then, God’s power in doing a thing like that is one and the same thing as His ability to have spoken the perfect and completed Earth into existence instantaneously.
“And darkness was upon the face of the deep …”
This is a reference to the state of the earth when it was waste and void.
The melancholy waste of the mighty seas; and it is not necessary to understand this as a reference to the molten, superheated earth, in which metals, earth and all elements, with the abundant waters might be referred to collectively as “the deep.”
In such a condition all waters would have been driven into the earth’s atmosphere.
This water supply was evidently part of the special creation benefiting our earth, making the passage a further detail of God’s creating the earth (Genesis 1:1).
“And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters …”
Significantly, the Third Person of the Godhead appears here alongside God Himself. Whitelaw assures us that the term for “moved” actually means “brooded” as in the older versions; and it means “to be tremulous with love.
The Spirit here is the Blessed Holy Spirit, concerning whom much more information appears in the N.T. The primeval chaos that characterized this early phase of our planet is most significant.
Without the fiat of Almighty God, the unaided chaos would have become more and more chaotic. The Second Law of Thermodynamics is absolutely irreversible.
Only creation could have changed chaos into order and symmetry. God made all things “ex nihilo.”
“And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.”
“And God said …”
Any chain of events leading to the development of light is inconceivable, the very thought of such a thing being rejected by the intelligence.
Primeval darkness demands just the fiat revealed in this verse as the only possible solution for it.
“And God saw the light that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.”
“And God saw the light that it was good.”
The intelligence of the Supreme Being, His concern with and His interest in the affairs of His creation, and His personal preference for that which is “good” appear as legitimate deductions from what is revealed here.
It seems highly improbable that the creation of light merely means the making of light visible upon the earth.
The text does not state that God made light visible, but that He created it.
“And God divided the light from the darkness …”
This statement is enigmatical, and that should not surprise us. It was inevitable that in the creation of all things there were countless facts about it that were incapable of being revealed to the finite intelligence of mortal man.
The very presence of light dispels darkness.
The diurnal revolution of the earth, excluding the sun’s light at night, is usually cited as the explanation of this; but we reject such an explanation, preferring to view it as something beyond the ability of men to understand it.
Besides, the relationship between sun, moon, and the earth did not appear until the fourth day, and this is the first day.