Summary: As the literal translation informs us, the Hebrew sense of the moving of God’s Spirit upon the face of the waters is understood as the Spirit fluttering as with wings, over the waters.
Genesis 1:1-3 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, 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.
YOUNG’S LITERAL TRANSLATION
Gene 1:1-3 In the beginning of God’s preparing the heavens and the earth-- the earth hath existed waste and void, and darkness is on the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God fluttering on the face of the waters, and God saith, `Let light be;’ and light is.
As the literal translation informs us, the Hebrew sense of the moving of God’s Spirit upon the face of the waters is understood as the Spirit fluttering as with wings, over the waters.
When God’s Spirit moved in Genesis, it moved in a manner that God chose to describe as a bird fluttering its wings over the world.
• God is obviously not a bird.
• But the gentleness of the fluttering of a bird’s wings and its hovering, as Darby’s translation renders it, over something shows His love and concern for it.
And after we read of the Spirit fluttering over the earth, we read that God began speaking forth His word into the earth and creating things through His spoken word.
• Its as though the Spirit brooded over the world in readiness for the work with the Word that would begin to be spoken.
• God’s Spirit was in readiness to take the planet and commence a creation in it that would end up with there being present a man made in the very image of God Himself.
• That world was being tenderly taken into God’s care and ready to receive a force of creation that was God’s Word itself.
• As though God gathered the state of the earth beneath His wings to cause His word to speak forth to it and rework it over for the better.
• Beneath those wings would the work be accomplished.
• God’s word would work beneath those wings.
• The picture of God’s wings, as it were, in representation only, combined with His spoken Word working beneath them in that world over which He fluttered and hovered and brooded, is held throughout the Bible in various places.
• The change God would render in that world would be called a creative and a remaking work.
From this outset of the entire Bible we can see where the word of God is prominent in effecting change and bringing light and life where there was darkness and chaos.
• It is therefore a little wonder that we believers who have been made from the Earth have been taken by God’s Spirit and caused to be changed and conformed into the image of Jesus Christ, according to Romans 8:29.
• Jesus’ baptism occurred and the Spirit fell upon Him like a dove with wings, when He was in the water, and God’s Word spoke forth declaring Him to be the Son of God, beginning a ministry that would result in many people brought into new creation.
Later in the Bible, God’s word is found to be beneath wings in the following scriptures.
Exodus 25:10-11 And they shall make an ark of shittim wood: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof. And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, within and without shalt thou overlay it, and shalt make upon it a crown of gold round about.
Exodus 25:17-22 And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof. And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat. And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubims on the two ends thereof. And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubims be. And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee. And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.