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Summary: The creation of the heavens and the earth (including the existence of matter itself, it’s organization, and the origin and development of life) wasn’t out of preexisting energy or matter, but was brought into existence by God out of nothing by God speakin

God’s Creative Work Explained

Genesis 1:2 – 2:3

By Dr. R Bruce Montgomery

Last week: Ge. 1:1 God’s creative work declared: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Summary statement

The author goes on and gives an explanation of how he did it beginning in verse 2. Not meant to be an exhaustive account - only one page long. Purpose not to give a detailed science book. Doesn’t answer every question we have. Much about this world we will never understand.

But does answer some basic questions regarding creation. Today we will examine what Genesis says about (1) HOW God did it; and (2) HOW LONG it took him to do it.

How did Moses receive this information? Not in visions, or dreams. God talked with Moses directly, "face to face, as a man with his friend," “mouth to mouth," so must evaluate the book from the manner in which it was communicated by the only eye-witness. This isn’t, as it has been called, "merely religious truth transformed into history," but an actual account of what happened.

The form and style of this account is simple, clear and concrete. It is not written in mythological or fictional manner, as are the “creation myths” of other cultures, but is rather set forth as a carefully structured and worded factual, historical narrative.

Read Text Genesis 1:2 - 2:3

Vs. 2 says the earth was originally formless and void

The Hebrew is rhythmic - tohu wabohu - an expression for something that is disordered and empty. In that form it is uninhabitable - very opposite of what it will be after six days of creation. Spread over this uninhabitable earth was impenetrable darkness. Under the darkness and covering the earth was the "deep," the primeval ocean. However, above the primeval darkness and emptiness hovered unutterable beauty - the Spirit of God.

Some scholars hold there is a long gap between vs. 1 and 2, during which God’s original perfect creation came into a period of chaos through a great catastrophe. (At one point I tended to this view myself). The Hebrew word hayah can be translated was (as here), or became. However, grammatically not the best way to read the Hebrew.

This view has arisen (1) from an attempt to harmonize Scripture with popular scientific theories. How else can we account for the apparent age of the earth? The dinosaurs? Etc.

(2) theologically – a place to put Satan’s fall. When was he cast out of heaven? Can’t have been here, because he is described as a guardian cherub of Eden in Eze. 28:12 -17 vs. 12b . . . “You were the model of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.” Vs. 13 You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone adorned you: . . . Your settings and mountings were made of gold; on the day you were created they were prepared. vs. 14 You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones. Vs. 15 You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you. Vs. 16 Through your widespread trade you were filled with violence, and you sinned, So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God, and I expelled you, O guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones. Vs. 17 Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings.”


As saw last week, the creation of the heavens and the earth wasn’t out of preexisting energy or matter, but was brought into existence by God out of nothing. This includes the existence of matter itself, it’s organization, and the origin and development of life as well.

What was God’s method? - Very simple. The words "and God said" appear 10 times - vs. 3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24, 26, 28, 29.

Ps. 33:6 By the word of the LORD were he heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth. Ps. 33:9 For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.

Ps. 148:5 for he commanded and they (sun, moon, stars, highest heavens, waters above the skies) were created

Hebrews 11:3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

II Peter 3:5 . . . long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by the water.

When God speaks, something happens!

Verse 2 indicated the involvement of the Holy Spirit. 2nd hint of the triune nature of God (1st was in word "Elohim").

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