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.
When God created, the earth was formless, empty, and dark.
First, God brought form out of formlessness, order out of chaos.
On Day One, God created light. This was before the sun, moon, and stars were created. Life and light do not come from the sun, but from God, and the order of creation reflects that. It is also a foreshadowing of the final state (Revelation 21), when there will be light but no sun, for God is the light. It also brings to mind John 1:1-5, where we see Jesus, the Creator, as the Life and Light of men. The light was separated from the darkness. We do not know exactly in what way they were mixed.
On Day Two, God created the sky (“firmament” in the Authorised Version), and separated the waters above the sky from the waters below. There are different ideas as to what exactly is meant by the waters above the sky, but what is very clear is that God was bringing order to the chaos described in the verse 2.
On Day Three, God separated the waters from the dry land.
In all of these creative acts, you have a separation — light from darkness, the sky from the waters (with waters above and waters below), and waters from dry land. All of these were bringing order from the chaos. After the creative work described in verse 10, the earth might still be described as “void”, empty, but it was no longer “without form”, chaotic.
Next, God began to fill the emptiness, the void.
Also on Day Three, God filled the land. He made vegetation — grass, seed-bearing plants, and fruit. No other life could be sustained without plant life for food. The world was being prepared for Day Six.
On Day Four, God filled the heavens — the sun, moon, and stars. The Scriptures give several purposes God had for this day’s creative acts, and they all relate to the earth.
The earth is not the geographic centre of the solar system,
but the earth is very much
at the centre of God’s creative design —
it is the only place in all this vast universe that
the Son of God would die.
On Day Five, God filled the sky and seas — fish and water mammals, and birds.
The earth is no longer void, empty.
God’s creative work was not done, but the world was prepared. Still to come, the creation of land animals and man — with all that would mean later. As the fifth day came to an end, not only was the creation of man in view, the incarnation of the Son of God loomed large. It was the inevitable response of a loving God to the rebellion that He knew would come from these creatures He was going to make.
The love of God is seen at the Cross, indeed — but as James said (Acts 15:18), “Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.” If that is true, then His love is seen just as remarkably in Genesis 1:26 — “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness….”