The Bible begins with this significant statement. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light (Genesis 1:1-3)
If God did, indeed, create the heavens and the earth, why did He create it formless and empty rather than in the perfect order it would be after His six creation days? Could anything brought into being by the Sovereign God be less than perfect? What happened?
If we postulate that the earth was Satan’s domain, it is conceivable that when Satan decided, in the words of the Prophet Isaiah, to “raise my throne above the stars of God; I will make myself like the Most High,” the earth was plunged into the chaos referred to in Gen.1:2. I will grant that I am speculating, for except for Satan’s rebellion, the Scriptures tell us little of what happened before creation. But a hint is given us on the occasion of Jesus’ first encounter with the devil shortly after His baptism.
At that time, “the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. ‘All this I will give you,’ he said ‘if you will bow down and worship me’” (Matthew 4:8-9). It is telling that Jesus refused the offer but did not question the devil’s authority. Accordingly, many of us believe that when Satan rebelled, it was then that the world, as the devil’s domain, became “formless and empty and darkness was over the surface of the deep.”
But the magnificent creation God planned for us would still come into being. When the time was right, God intervened. He brought order out of the chaos, recreated this beautiful world, and placed two beings, created in His image, in a marvelous “garden” to oversee it all. From that day forward, a trend was established: that which hell destroyed God would, sooner or later, bring back to its original purpose.
I am, in the words of Scripture, “a new creation.” Despite the threat hell has used to impact my stability and destroy my faith, there is light at the end of my tunnel. My mistakes and weaknesses notwithstanding, God has been good to me. He has given me hope that a new day is coming. Not only was God active in the building of His creation, but He has also taken a broken life like mine, “formless and empty” indeed, and of it brought something worthy of His creative power.
The day before His crucifixion Jesus told His disciples, “Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy” (John. 16:22). With Jesus’ death, Satan thought he had won the day. Little did he know that, as in the beginning, there was a new day coming in which out of the chaos would come a brilliant, marvelous light, that would never be extinguished … His name was Jesus!
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