Midrash on Genesis Chapters 1-3 Part 2


 Study 2. Genesis 1:2

“And darkness was upon the surface of the deep.” (Genesis 1:2)

“Now the earth was (became) formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”

There was a time when the earth itself became “formless” (void) and “empty.”The word translated “was” can also be translated “became,” suggesting that the world was not originally created this way. The same two words are used elsewhere in the Bible to describe the judgement of God. In the prophet Jeremiah we read, “I looked at the earth, and it was formless and empty; and at the heavens and their light was gone. I looked at the mountains, and they were quaking; all the hills were swaying. I looked and there were no people; every bird in the sky had flown away. I looked and the fruitful land was a desert; all its towns lay in ruins before the Lord, before His fierce anger. This is what the Lord says: “The whole land will be ruined, though I will not destroy it completely. Therefore the earth will mourn and the heavens above grow dark, because I have spoken and will not relent, I have decided and will not turn back.” (Jeremiah 4:23-28)

 A Divine Judgement

Jeremiah was describing the judgement of God that would come upon the nation of Israel because of their disobedience to Him. This judgement would come at the hands of the Babylonians who lay waste everything in their path even cutting down trees so that the land became desolate, “formless” and “empty.” In this prophecy Jeremiah relates the catastrophe that would come upon the land of Israel with what is recorded in Genesis chapter one. Jeremiah uses the same two words “formless” and “empty” to describe a divine judgement. When we look at the record in Genesis it would seem that the earth itself had experienced a cataclysmic judgement from God leaving it “formless” (void) or “empty.” It may well have been that there was a race of beings, not human, living on the earth before the judgement occurred.

The Eden of God

The Bible tells us that there was a time when Lucifer and his angels were actually dwelling in the Eden of God until the rebellion occurred and Lucifer and his angels fell from God’s favour. Lucifer became Satan. We read about this rebellion in chapter twenty-eight in the prophet Ezekiel. Specifically we read what God Himself said to Lucifer, “You were in Eden, the garden of God…you were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till rebellion was found in you.” (Ezekiel 28:13, 15) In verses one to nineteen the Bible describes Lucifer’s pride, his beauty, his rebellion, and his ultimate defeat at God’s hands where along with the beast and the false prophet he will be consigned to the lake of fire forever. (Revelation 19:20) (Revelation 20:10) The lake of fire itself was actually created for the devil and his angels. (Matthew 25:41) Another thing we discover about Lucifer from the record in Ezekiel is that it would seem God had endowed him with the power to create music to be used in worshipping God. We read in verse thirteen, “The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created” (Vs 13b).

Satan’s strategy

Today one of Satan’s strategies in turning people away from the Lord is to use the power of music. Through this medium millions upon millions of young people are being led into rebellion through sensual and seductive music. Satan knows the mesmerising power of music and uses it to win people over to himself. When you see the kind of adulation given to rock stars today you can clearly see the sin of idolatry. When you look at all of the ancient civilizations in the past the power of music always played an important part of their life, and their religion. Because Satan was endowed with the power of music he has used this power down through the centuries to promote idolatry and sensuality in worshipping false gods that in reality is the worship of demons. (Deuteronomy 32:16-18) (1 Corinthians 10:20)

Music, a key role

Also in the Church music plays a key role in worship and can be manipulated by Satan where there is pride and ego involved. When you look at the Christian music industry and the way it is promoted in the Church there is no difference from the way music is promoted in the world. A famous preacher once said, “A boat in the water is all right but water in the boat is not, likewise the Church in the world is all right but the world in the Church is not!” While music was a strong feature in the great revivals of the past and used by God to bless the lives of millions it can also be used by Satan to lead people away from God into licentiousness, immorality, rebellion, idolatry and sin. So then we read in Genesis that the earth became “formless” and “empty.” However we are also told in the Bible that when God originally created the earth it was not created “formless” and “empty.” We read in the prophet Isaiah, “For this is what the Lord says-He who created the heavens He is God; He who fashioned and made the earth, He founded it; He did not create it to be empty (the same word used in Genesis and Jeremiah) but formed it to be inhabited.” (Isaiah 45:18a)

A “Gap?”

So it would seem that between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2 there was a “gap” or what we could call “a time leap” as it were to indicate the strong possibility that a catastrophic divine judgement of cataclysmic proportions occurred between verse one and verse two causing the earth to “became formless and empty.” One thing we do know is that Satan was already dwelling in Eden and was already there to lead Adam and Eve into rebellion against God. Obviously they were familiar with him as he talked with the woman and she was not afraid of him. Satan had the power of speech and was very attractive and appealing and the same spiritual seduction he used on the first man and woman he continues to use today in the lives of billions around the world.

Darkness over the surface of the deep

Now notice the text in Genesis also says that, “darkness was over the surface of the deep.” This “darkness over the surface of the deep” was a direct result of the rebellion that had occurred. This “darkness” represents the spiritual darkness of sin and here in the beginning of Genesis we see the new creation beginning to come forth as God continues to separate the light from the darkness. The creation account here in Genesis parallels the new creation in John’s Gospel where the contrast between spiritual light and spiritual darkness is clearly seen. Where sin abounds in a person’s life there is only formlessness and emptiness and an absence of spiritual light and life in that persons mind and heart.

Spiritual darkness and depravity

When you see the earth “formless” and “void” you see a picture of the spiritual depravity and darkness of the human heart without the light of Jesus and It is a picture of the chaos and confusion resulting from the rebellion and sin that lies within every human heart. Indeed as it is written, “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) and again it is written that, “The sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law. Nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.” (Romans 8:7-8)  Also it is written that. “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 3:14).

Darkness and light

In John’s Gospel and in his epistles the two themes of darkness and light are clearly contrasted throughout his writings. The darkness and the light clearly speak of the darkness of the old fallen nature within man and the light of the new nature that is only found in the Lord Jesus, “The True light of the world that enlightens every man.” In the Genesis account we read that this darkness then “was over the surface of the deep.” Now man himself is a Tri-partite being like God his creator. Man has a body, a soul and a spirit. The “waters” describes the inner spirit of a man, that deep inner part of his being that needs the light and the life of God within it to bring about the new creation in his life.

Hovering over the waters

Now notice we read, “And the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”  This is a picture of the Holy Spirit Himself hovering over the unregenerate human spirit ready to infuse into it the light of God’s revelation and truth to separate sin from righteousness. The word “hovering” contains the idea of a mother hen hovering or sitting over her eggs waiting for the new chicks to hatch. As she hovers over the eggs they are hatched and new life fomes forth. The same word is also used of the Holy Spirit “hovering” over the womb of Mary to incarnate the Son of God.

The Holy Spirit seperates light from darkness

So then wherever the Spirit is at work He is always separating light from darkness. In the new creation it is the same as it is written, “For you were once darkness but now you are light in the Lord.” (Ephesians 5:8) and again it is written of those who are new creations in Christ, “That they may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light.” (1 Peter 2:9b) When a person is about to be born again and the new creation in Christ is about to come forth you have the Holy Spirit hovering over their human spirit to impart and to bring forth the new life from God. The blessed Holy Spirit Himself is the one who infuses the new life of God into the darkness of the fallen human spirit. The Lord Jesus Himself said, “The Spirit gives life, the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and they are life.” (John 6:63)

 The New Creation by God’s command!

Just as creation itself was initiated by God and brought forth at the command of His Word so it is with the new creation. God Himself takes the initiative to save us. As it is written, “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest (the unsaved) we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions-it is by grace you have been saved… For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:1-5, 8-10).

 From sin into righteousness

Can a corpse make itself alive? You can stick it with a pin but there will be no response. No matter what you do you cannot make it live. It is a corpse! There is no life at all in it. However, imagine a sudden impartation of life, a sudden breath of life coming into that corpse and making it a living being. It would be “made alive” would it not? So it is with the soul instantly transformed from sin into righteousness and from darkness into light. It is a soul translated from the kingdom of Satan into the kingdom of God’s dear Son!  So it will be with everyone who has been born of God or born from above by the Holy Spirit of God. As it is written, “But you know that He (Jesus) appeared so that He might take away our sins. And in Him is no sin. No one who lives in Him keeps on sinning (wilfully and habitually). No one who continues to sin (wilfully and habitually) has either seen Him or known Him.” (1 John 3:6)

The plan of God

When God saved you He already had a plan in place. There was a path already mapped out for you from the beginning of eternity. God already knew what He was going to do in advance. David speaks of this when he says; “My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” (Psalm 139:15-16)  It is like a potter who takes a formless piece of clay and determines in advance what He is going to create from it. As the Lord said to Israel, “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as the potter does?” declares the Lord. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel.” (Jeremiah 18:6)

 The New Creation in Christ

So then, just as God took the initiative to bring forth creation so He takes the initiative to bring forth the new creation in Christ. Salvation, like creation, comes about as the direct result of God’s sovereign and creative power. Indeed it is written, “Unless a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3) and again the scripture says, “A man can receive only what is given him from heaven.” (John 3:27) Indeed the Lord Jesus Himself also said, “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me and whoever comes to Me I will never cast away.” (John 6:37)  He also went on to say, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:44) This truth is first revealed in creation! In the new creation in and through Christ all boasting and self-righteousness is excluded for “flesh and blood cannot enter the kingdom of God neither can what is perishable inherit that which is imperishable.” Indeed. “That which is born from the flesh is flesh but that which is born from the Spirit is spirit!” Have you been made a new creation in Christ? For, “unless your righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees and Sadducees you will never inherit the kingdom of God!”

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