In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
There’s no way we can comprehend what a partially created universe was like. Before there was light, was the speed of light established? (As we’ve noted, many of the laws of physics are affected by the speed of light.) Did gravity exist? Did 2 plus 2 equal 4 yet?
These things are way above our pay grade, but we’re supposed to read the story of creation and try to understand it—even if we know we won’t get it exactly right.
Fortunately, modern man has one tool that gives us a reasonable rendering of God’s view of the earth—a globe. When the Earth was new, it probably didn’t look exactly like a globe (it didn’t have the different countries shown in bright colors).
The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep.
Still, a globe is a useful image of the earth and an appropriate one to use when reading Genesis.
Of course, “without form and void” can mean almost anything. The Earth may not have even had a specific shape.
Curiously, this agrees with how cosmologists see creation. They model planetary formation as a gradual coming together of bits as the planet “clears out its neighborhood” (sweeps up all the other bits in its orbit). At first, a planet is a bunch of lumps gathered together but without any form.
Eventually, all those bits coalesce more or less into a ball.
It would be a mistake to think that any specific way of visualizing this is how it really was.
Consider the size of God’s creation. The surface of the Earth is 197 million square miles. Anyone who has seen one percent of it is a world-traveling jetsetter.
And the earth is just a speck in the solar system. In a scale model of the solar system with the Sun the size of a softball, the Earth is the size of a grain of sand and Neptune is a quarter mile away.
And the solar system is a tiny dot compared to the Milky Way galaxy, which is a tiny dot compared to the Virgo Supercluster of galaxies, which is …
And the creator of all this actually cares about the tiny two-legged creatures He made in His image. Clearly, our significance is not due to our size.
“Awesome” doesn’t even begin to say it.
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These weekday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. Saturdays' by Matt Richardson. Subscribe here: https://www.ailbe.org/resources/community
The weekly study guides, which include questions for discussion or meditation, are here: https://www.ailbe.org/resources/itemlist/category/91-deep-studies
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.