The very first verse in the Bible states the earth was created in the beginning. The second verse states that the earth was without form and void, and ‘darkness was on the face of the deep’.
The Hebrew word for ‘darkness’ as used in the present context is choshekh which means figuratively blindness or to be obscure. For example:
“In that day…the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity and out of darkness.” Isaiah 29:18
In God’s perfect ageless plan, for those whom He was soon to create in His own image, He was preparing to implement that matchless plan.
“…And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” Genesis 1:2b
The Hebrew for ‘Spirit’ is wind and the same Hebrew word is used in the following:
“…And God made a wind to pass over the earth…” Genesis 8:1b
And so it was, God visited the desolate earth.
“Then God said, ‘Let there be light’, and there was light.” Genesis 1:3
The term ‘light’ in the present context is from the Hebrew or meaning illumination or enlightenment. Light is also associated with life, wisdom, and justice. The Hebrew meaning of light in the present context also represents God’s glory.
If the preparation of the earth for man began with God providing light, why then, was the solar and lunar systems required?
“Then God said, ‘Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years…and let them give light on the earth…’ Genesis 1:14-15
The Hebrew base for ‘light’ in the above verse is maor meaning a luminous body or a lamp.
One’s first thought when noting the word ‘seasons’ in the above might be the four seasons experienced by the earth being tilted on its axis 23.5 degrees as it makes its annual journey around the sun.
However, a more specific meaning is revealed from the Hebrew moedh which means festive gathering, appointment, or signal. It was to signal the timing of the subsequent Jewish feast days.
The Hebrew for ‘days’ in Genesis 1:14 means time, either between two points on the linear time span or a specific point of time on that span. The Hebrew word for ‘years’ means a revolution of time, or to return, and/or repeat. Such describes the earth’s annual journey around the sun which defines a year.
It will be illustrated in future columns that the concept of time would be necessary to appreciate the grandeur of God’s word as He lays out history in advance and ascribes specific measures of time to future events.
After God prepared the earth to sustain life, i.e. land, sea, and sky, He created Adam.
“Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image… let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ So God created man in His own image… male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it…’” Genesis 1:26-28a
After God created man and every provision to sustain him, He was very satisfied and approved all He had done.
“Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.” Genesis 1:31a
Man created in the image of God is the highest of God’s creations. God’s plan for man, which He devised countless years before He brought it into being, had now begun.
The subsequent journey would be endless and the result will be as originally intended, i.e. to fulfill God’s purpose. The journey will prove man’s ineptness without his Creator and simultaneously reveal God’s holiness, righteousness, justice, longsuffering, and love.
It will take millennia for man to come to the realization that he can’t do it on his own, if in fact he ever realizes it. Those that accept man’s impotence and those that don’t, define the two categories of all mankind.