Summary: God speaks and says, "Let there be light." In both the physical and spiritual world God has turned the chaos into harmony, and the darkness into light.
Billy Graham in his book World Aflame tells of how he sat in the office of
Dag Hammarskjold at the United Nations shortly before he was killed in the
plane crash. He said that Mr. Hammarskjold seemed deeply depressed, and as
he looked out over New York City he said quietly, "I see no hope for
permanent peace. We have tried so hard and we have failed so miserably.
Unless the world has a spiritual rebirth within the next few years, civilization
is doomed." Graham goes on in his book to quote leaders in every branch of
life and around the world who are pessimistic about the future. Man with all
of his light still lives in the dark.
Jean Paul Sartre, the French Existentialist, said, "There is no exit from
the human dilemma." Sir Winston Churchill said, "Our problems are beyond
us." Graham says that man is caught in a fire raging out of control, and in his
first chapter he paints a picture that is frightening. Graham wrote this nearly
40 years ago, but the fact is we still live in a time where it is the dark ages
spiritually. Can we be optimistic about the future? Yes we can if we know
God through Jesus Christ. We know a God who from the beginning has
turned chaos into harmony, and He has brought light out of darkness. God
has a plan for this world and so there is always a bright tomorrow, for we look
for a new heaven and new earth wherein dwells righteousness. The basis for
optimism if found in man promises of the Bible, but we are going to study the
first chapter of Genesis to see the method of God's creating that encourages us
to be optimistic.
We find harmony and rhyme even in the very statement of the original
chaos of the world. In Hebrew the two words describing the chaos rhyme. It
says, "And the earth was without tohu and bohu." The word tohu describes a
condition of shapelessness. There was just a conglomeration of matter. Bohu
means that it was empty and void. There was no life of any kind. Our world
started out as chaos. God created the raw materials just before He began to
form it for the habitation of life.
God did not create all in immediate perfection. We see here a progression
from the raw material to the finished product. There are some who have
developed what is called the Gap Theory, which says that God created heaven
and earth perfect in verse 1. Then a great catastrophe caused it to be
destroyed, and so in verse 2 we have the chaos of that fallen world which God
reforms again into a perfect world. The vast majority feel there is no basis for
reading so much between the lines. It is obvious that Moses intended to convey
no such impression, but rather, that God, like a skilled workman,
began with dull and drab raw materials, and by wisdom formed them into a
world of beauty.
We note that darkness was upon the face of the deep. Water was the most
abundant substance that God began with as raw material. Water covered the
whole earth and it was dark, for light was not yet created. it was a very bleak
picture. It was a giant mud pie sunk in a cold dark world ocean. If there had
been anyone around to see such a sight, they certainly would think it was a
God forsaken planet. But this verse says it was not so, for the Spirit of God
moved over the face of the waters. The Holy Spirit is pictured like an eagle
hovering over its young. Here the object is lifeless, but the Holy Spirit is eager
to give birth to life. Milton in Paradise Lost expresses it like this: "Darkness
profound covered the abyss, but on the watery calm His brooding wings the
Spirit of God out spread, and vital virtue infused, and vital warmth,
throughout the fluid mass."
Here is a picture of the material realm identical to the chaos and darkness
of the spiritual realm, which the Bible speaks of often. The wicked man is said
to walk in darkness, and darkness blinds his eyes. His understanding is
darkened, his heart is darkened, and he loves darkness rather than light. But
in both realms the darkness is turned to dawn, for God speaks and says, "Let
there be light." In both the physical and spiritual world God has turned the
chaos into harmony, and the darkness into light. Paul can say that we were
once children of darkness, but are now children of light, and we walk in the
light. We are delivered from the power of darkness because, as Peter said,
"We are called out of darkness into His marvelous light."