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The Way it Was

The Way It Was by Kelly L. Segraves

All Right, What Happened?

Many of the readers of the Bible infer from the first verse of Genesis that God created a full-blown universe exactly as we know it today. But that is not what the verse says. "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." (Genesis 1:1) What is heaven? Stars? No, the stars are hung in heaven. Not planets, not the sun; all these things are hung in heaven. The word "heaven," shamayim, means an expanse and in this case it refers in its broadest sense to space. In the beginning God created space and earth. We have to comprehend that which is difficult for us as finite beings: before Genesis 1:1 there existed absolutely nothing except God. We do not know what nothing is. We consider space nothing, but there was not even space before this particularly verse. There was no matter or mass; no such thing as time. All these things came into existence when God called them into existence. He created here a heaven and an earth.

The earth was nothing like the sphere you and I now see. It is described for us in Genesis 1:2, "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." The Hebrew words for "without form and void," tohu vabohu, basically mean empty and a vacuum. Empty and lifeless. Isaiah 45:18 tells us that "...God himself that formed the earth and made: he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord; and there is none else." In this particular verse in Genesis we have a description of an earth empty and uninhabited.

No people could live on the planet in this condition because there is no atmosphere, no sun, nothing that would support life. In fact, there is not even dry land. We find that the earth was empty and lifeless and that darkness was upon the face of the deep and that the Spirit moved upon the face of the waters. Darkness covered this body and the Spirit of God moved upon this planet. Space is created and mass is expressed in the form of the earth covered with water and time is indicated by the movement of the Spirit. Some consider darkness a problem, that darkness must be evidence of sin. But may I remind you that in verse three God simply created light and separated light from darkness. The darkness does not refer to sin. To be consistent, it simply refers to the absence of light.

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