“The Earth was formless and void, darkness was over the surface of the deep and the Spirit of God was brooding over the waters.”
Genesis 1:2 is a fascinating little piece of the Bible. Let me point out three quick reasons why you should never skip past this verse again!
- While the first verse of the Bible is majestic and magnificent in its scope, here in Genesis 1:2 the focus narrows to the place where the action is going to happen. Sure, God created the heavens and the earth and everything else. Yet He did so at a specific point and this verse tells us where that point is. Of course, the description does not come a GPS tag but we know it is the earth. Try to picture this place where it all began. There were no features, no signs of life and no indications of anything happening. Formless and void. Barren, empty and without structure. There was darkness over the surface of the deep. So apparently there was a nothing to see but if you had been present with a torch you could have seen just water. Interestingly, people have calculated what would happen if all of the earth’s geology was flattened. If there were no mountains and no valleys but instead all of the land mass everywhere was flat then it would be covered by water to a depth of 2.4 kilometers. There would be water – deep water – everywhere. But leave that picture aside for a moment and remember this much: God is at work everywhere but especially here on Earth.
- Following on from this verse is the Creation of the world in six days. All of the pattern of creation is just that: a pattern. God brought order, shape and beauty out of nothing. The second verse of the Bible describes the planet as formless and void: empty and barren. Yet by the end of Genesis One, God can survey all He has made and say “It is good.” So perhaps we are the same sometimes. Spiritually, our lives look chaotic, barren or even empty. Yet God, who is at work especially here on Earth, can create goodness where there seems to be only a void. In your life, God can create goodness.
- The Spirit of God was brooding. This word is a fantastic term to use because it is the same word which would be used to describe a hen sitting on, fussing over and taking care of her eggs. God was going to bring forth a work of goodness and at the point where the Creation would happen the Spirit was there watching over the place where the birth was going to take place. Theologically, this is a confirmation of the Holy Spirit’s personality because the Holy Spirit is acting intentionally. He is not merely ‘hovering’ like a fog. He is there, present and active, taking part in the birthing process. Today, when we pray for people to be born again, let us pray for the Holy Spirit to go brood over some folks. Let us pray for the Holy Spirit to go before us and begin the process of giving life to people. When we are looking for those to whom we should preach the Gospel let us look for the brooding Spirit of God.
Three reasons why the second verse of the Bible is fascinating. Tell me: which reason is the most important or interesting to you?