1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth
God created the environments for all created life forms “in the beginning”. This verse is absolutely clear, the heaven and the earth, the environment for all subsequent creation was the beginning of creation. Nothing preceded the creation of heaven and earth apart from the Creator God! God created from nothing—ex nihilo! This passage demands that we face His pre-existence and the depth and complexity of His mind and purpose as we seek to understand His Glory and purpose. God is the Designer and Creator of all the cosmos in which we see and move and have our being.
1:2a and the earth was without form and void,
The earth had no living organism on it and was incapable of producing any living thing of itself because only God is the author of life within His creation. Has God made provision for all living things to procreate? Yes. Does that mean they are independent of His providence in doing so? Absolutely not! If even a sparrow does not fall to the ground without His notice, is it possible that one can come into existence without His touch?
1:2b and darkness was upon the deep,
Darkness in Holy Scripture has spiritual and physical meaning. First the physical: the absence of illumination by which we might see and understand our physical environment. But that is obvious. What of the spiritual? Let us consider “deep” as the heaven and the earth. But whatever it is, the deep is without doubt a significant part of His creation. As such, it is in the dark which is very significant to our understanding since God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. How then did He create something that is in the dark? Why then did He create something that is in the dark? Is this condition only in place until the sun, moon, and stars were created? No. Sun, moon, and stars are not spiritual but physical and cannot cure or illuminate the spiritual darkness in which creation was ordained to exist. So how did He create in darkness? He created a realm apart from Himself by the power of His will. Why? For His own Good Pleasure!
1:2c and the Spirit of God moved upon the waters.
God’s hand in providence is actively engaged in the workings of His creation to fulfil His purposes in it! Throughout time, beginning to end!
What effect could this view have on modern Christianity’s idea of God? Or more to the point the power of man as a self directed being? That is a creature with a “free will”. Lets examine it from command for us to pray. Does God answer prayer? Yes. But how? What does it mean to “pray in His name”? Example: Hezekiah was sick unto death and begged God that he might live. God answered his prayer by granting him another 15 years to rule over the nation. Did God feel sorry for the king and grant his prayer because he had been faithful? Is being outwardly obedient and faithful the same thing? Why was Hezekiah unwilling to go on and be with the Lord? There is no mention of Enoch begging for more time and he was very faithful. Did Hezekiah believe that no one could rule over the nation as well as he? How is that faithful? How is that trusting in the providence of God for the nation in his absence? God is omniscient (knowing the end from the beginning). He knows the answer to all these questions perfectly. When God answers prayer, it is in His will to do so. He always answers it according to His will. His purpose will be fulfilled. How hard is that for us to accept? So hard that we accuse Him of being the author of sin when we are the ones at fault! Especially when pain and suffering are the result of actions we perceived as good.
Try this: the sin of man serves the ultimate purpose of God, even when we are personally guilty of the most vile offense! If it did not do so, the omnipotence and omniscience of God, in fact the very goodness of His Character could rightly be(and in fact most Unrighteously are) called into question. There is a whole subcategory of theology called theodicy that is dedicated to answering the question, “If God is good, why is there evil in the world?” We are not above blaming the Creator for our sin! When confronted by God, Adam said, “…that woman you gave me…”, laying the blame ultimately on God Himself. If God hadn’t given him that woman, he would not have committed the sin! A bald-faced lie to be sure, but hey, any excuse is better than none (or so it is said)!
As long as man is morally accountable—held responsible for his actions by other men as well as by God, how can he possibly consider his will to be free? Joseph was sold into slavery—his brothers meant it for evil but God meant it for good! Was their action sinful? You bet! Did God force them to do it? No! Did He use it for His glory and the ultimate good of His people? Absolutely! Can God do that in every circumstance He chooses? Yes!
If the story of Joseph is used to illustrate to us the fact of God’s omnipotent providence, how can we claim our will is determinative? Just because we can sin against God does not mean we can defeat His purpose in the very sin He already knows we will commit! That does not make our sin one iota less egregious!
Now, leaving the discussion of the Spirit of God moving on the waters, we go back to verse 3.
1:3 and God said let there be light and there was light.
Again we are confronted with the physical and the spiritual. What is the light God spoke into existence before the sun, moon, and stars existed? Since they are all sources of visible light in the universe, the light God spoke into existence must be the light that brings a knowledge of Him in a realm that is separate from Him. God said it and it was so!
1:4 God saw the light that it was good, and God separated the light from the darkness.
God determined that imprinting a source of the knowledge of Himself into the very fabric of His creation was good and so made a division between knowledge of Himself and knowledge of the creation the denies Him. All creation shows forth the glory of God!
1:5 and God called the Light, day and the darkness He called night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.
So the idea of day and night, light and dark, good and evil, preceded the sun, moon, and stars in the creation. They were however, endemic to the plan of God in both the physical reality of life on earth and the spiritual reality of life and death.