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.(Genesis 1:1-3)
The first verse of the Bible,is a summation of all that exists, for there is only Creator and creation. The infinite, personal, almighty, and Holy God made the heavens, (Space) and the Earth, (Matter) in the beginning, (Time).
…and the earth was formless and void...
But at Creation, the earth was yet formless and void. It existed as a watery, shapeless mass, and would not be complete until the Creator gave form to it and mage it habitable. The text did not say that the earth “…became formless and void”, as those who hold to variations of the “gap theory” hold, as if there were some catastrophe between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2.
The text simply tells us that when God created matter, it was originally in a formless state, waiting for his creative hand to give shape to it. Our physical world was created first in a formless state, and also in a state of darkness, for it pleased God to shape , and energize the world in later stages of Creation.
And darkness was upon the face of the deep…
The darkness is an amoral reference, God “forms the light and creates darkness“, (Isaiah 45:7). The deep refers to the unformed waters. Proverbs 8 tells us that God’s wisdom ”set a compass upon the deep” to give form to the waters that He had created.
And the Spirit of God moved upon the waters…
The name for God used in Genesis 1 is Elohim, a plural word suggesting that God is a unity yet in some sense a plurality. We will see that He uses the expression, “Let us make man in our image…”on the sixth day of Creation. Thus the mystery of God’s being is intimated from the beginning of the Divine revelation.
Here we are told the Spirit of God, that is the Ruach of God, (same word as for breath or wind), but this is more than wind, because this Spirit is creative and moves to accomplish a design, He has a part in the creative process as he moves, back and forth over the waters.
The word for “move” is translated “shake” in Jeremiah 23:9 and “flutters” in Deuteronomy 32:11. Morris in his commentary ,”The Genesis Record”makes an interesting observation on this point,
“In modern scientific terminology, the best translation would probably be “Vibrated”. If the universe is to be energized, there must be an Energizer.If it is to be set in motion, there must be a Prime Mover…It is significant that the transmission of energy in the operations in the Cosmos is in the form of waves – light waves, heat waves, sound waves and s forth….Waves are typically rapid back and forth movements and they are normally produced by the vibratory motion of a wave generator of some kind. Energy cannot create itself. It is most appropriate that the first impartation of energy to the universe is described as the “vibrating” movement of the Spirit of God himself.”(Morris, The Genesis Record, Baker pg 23)
And God said, Let there be light; and there was light…
Several things stand out about this verse. This is the first record of God speaking in the Bible. God speaks, and when He speaks, His very Word brings to pass His will. Centuries later the Psalmist would celebrate the creative power of God’s Word,
By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap: he layeth up the depth in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the Lord: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.(Psalm 33:6-9)
The Apostle would compare the Lux Fiat, that is the “Let there be Light” of God in creation, with the work of the Word of God in the heart of fallen man in the new creation,
For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Cor 4:6)
The theme of Light comes to prominence in the account of the New Creation also in the Gospel of John, for we are told,
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.(John 1:1-9)
It should also be noted that the speaking forth of light, precedes the creation of sun and stars. For the Sun is not the true light, rather the SON is the true light of the world.