“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was
without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters” (Gen. 1:1, 2, NKJV).What do these verses reveal about the earth before the Lord began creating life on it?
The Bible starts with the story of Creation, and the Creation story starts with a statement that God is Creator. It then describes the condition of the world when God began to prepare it for occupancy. When the story begins, the planet is already here but unformed, unfilled, dark, and wet. The succeeding verses describe how God first formed the world into an inhabitable place and then filled it with living creatures. The text does not tell us exactly when the rocks and water of the earth came into existence, only that the world had not always been suitable for life. The world became fit for living creatures only because God acted to make it so.
What does Isaiah 45:18 teach us about God’s intention at Creation?
When the earth was first brought into existence, it was unsuitable for life. The Bible says nothing about the time period between the original creation of the rocks and water and the creation of the environment and the creatures. Some scholars think it might have been immediately; others that it may have been after a long period of time.
The simple fact is, we don’t know, nor does it really matter. Whatever the case, the material of the earth was created by God and then, at the time of His choosing, He created a suitable environment for life. The crucial point is that the Lord, who was not dependent upon preexisting matter, used matter that He had at some point already created, something that in its “primeval” state was tohu vabohu (“without form and void”). Then, afterwards, through the power of His word, He created our inhabitable world.