All in confusion
‘And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.’ Genesis 1:2
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: Psalm 8:1–9
The matter out of which the beauty, order and variety we now observe were framed, was at first all in confusion. The earth, the water, the deep, were one mixed mass and darkness covered the whole. The earth was without form—without a determinate form, a crude mass—and void—that is, empty, unfurnished, destitute of ornaments and inhabitants and incapable of receiving any till God was pleased to put forth his mighty power and arrange everything according to his wise plan. The wisdom of man, who would fain account for everything, has endeavoured to guess by what steps the Almighty proceeded in this work; many conjectures of this sort have been started, but they are all vain and trifling, no better than waking dreams; nay, they are presumptions. The Lord pours contempt upon such proud reasoners in his sublime questions to Job (chapter 38) and intimates that his counsel is far above, out of our sight [Psalm 10:5]. It is enough for us that things were thus in the beginning, and if we endeavour [to understand] this darkness and confusion and then compare it with the creation as it now appears, so as to say with humble admiration, ‘What has God wrought?’ and to be affected with his greatness and goodness, then we have the true philosophy. All besides is vanity and food for pride.
FOR MEDITATION: I have been witness to a great and important revolution this morning, which took place while the greatest part of the world was asleep. A while ago, darkness reigned. Had a man dropped for the first time into our world, he might have thought himself banished into a hopeless dungeon. How could he expect light to rise out of such a state? And when he saw the first glimmering of dawn in the east, how could he promise himself that it was the forerunner of such a glorious sun as has since risen! Such strangers once were we. Darkness, gross darkness, covered us: how confined were our views! And even the things which were within our reach we could not distinguish. Little did we then think what a glorious day we were appointed to see.… We knew not that there was a Sun of righteousness, and that he would dawn and rise in shine upon our hearts.
SERMON SERIES: GENESIS, NO. 2 [1/3], GENESIS 1:2–3