The Beginning of Creation

What was the initial state of creation like?

High Definition Video Standard Definition Video

(Right click this link to download video.)


What was there before creation started? That's a major question, and Christians throughout the ages have always affirmed that God created ex nihilo, out of nothing, that God himself created and brought all things into existence. That is an important affirmation that we see really clearly in the book of Hebrews chapter 11. In Genesis 1 we're given a title in verse 1: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. That's a title for what the rest of the chapter is going to talk about. Then in verse 2 we get the background before God even starts his six days of creation and then resting on the seventh. We're told that the earth was formless and void and there was the Spirit of God hovering over the faces of the deep, and waters were covering the earth. So, in terms of Genesis 1 and what it's trying to convey, it's starting with a world that's uninhabitable. But then what we see in the rest of creation is God overcoming all of these realities to make a world within which his image bearers could dwell. Day one, that dark reality is reversed as light is created. What happens to those waters that are covering the earth? In day two we see they're divided, some into the sky, and we see kind of the heavens or the sky is created. Then on day three we see these waters recede; dry land comes up. And then we see vegetation come in and then God filling the skies and then creating this habitable world within which humans could dwell in.

Answer by Andrew Abernethy, Ph.D.

Dr. Andrew Abernethy is Assistant Professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College & Graduate School.