Genesis 1:2, The Spirit versus Darkness
The earth was formless and empty. Darkness was on the surface of the Deep, and God’s Spirit was hovering over the surface of the waters. (Genesis 1:2)
Studying the condition of the earth before God said “Let there be light!” is quite ‘illuminating’; it showcases the wisdom of God and His restrained use of power. What I mean is that Almighty God – El Shaddai – could have created heaven and earth in their entire fullness (the sun and moon, animals, trees, oceans) “in the blink of an eye”. However, in the Beginning God creates our heaven and earth slowly; He is methodical, slow, almost appearing… lackadaisical?
In actuality, God established the earth in patience for a reason. Recently I proposed that tohu v’bohu (formless and empty) is comparable to mankind’s own chaotic existence, whereas darkness represents all that is evil, and masses of water equate to multitudes of people. I personally believe Genesis 1 is an allegory to our own restoration in the kingdom of God; Man is found by him in a formless and empty state, engulfed in darkness, roaring and raging against him like masses of deep waters before God makes him not-so-empty.
For however long it existed as tohu v’bohu, eventually God “had compassion” on the earth. He descended from His throne and hovered near despite the darkness well established there. Looking at it another way, I say God aggressively invaded darkness as an act of war! The battleground if you will was the Deep with its roaring and raging. God then brought forth a weapon to combat darkness – “Light”– and the rest is history.
Even now, “Darkness” and the Spirit of God vie for the collective soul of mankind. When Yisheyahu (Isaiah) foresaw the advent of Messiah Yeshua (Jesus), it was within the context of casting out unclean spirits, healing the sick, and of course deliverance from sin:
“Behold, my servant, whom I uphold; my chosen, in whom my soul delights—I have put my Spirit on him. …Thus says God the LORD, he who created the heavens and stretched them out, he who spread out the earth and that which comes out of it, he who gives breath to its people and spirit to those who walk in it. “I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness, and will hold your hand, and will keep you, and make you a covenant for the people, as a light for the nations; to open the blind eyes to bring the prisoners out of the dungeon, and those who sit in darkness out of the prison. (Isaiah 42:1-7)
Yisheyahu’s prophecy was fulfilled in Yeshua, as Matthew 12:18-21 quotes this passage. In the full context of Matthew 12:15-23, Yeshua was healing the multitudes of sickness and casting out a demon from a blind man. This deliverance was the “darkness” foretold in the book of Isaiah. Yisheyahu also saw:
“But there shall be no more gloom for her who was in anguish. In the former time, he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali; but in the latter time he has made it glorious, by the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations. The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. Those who lived in the land of the shadow of death, on them the light has shined. You have multiplied the nation. You have increased their joy.” (Isaiah 9:1-3)
This prophecy was also fulfilled in Yeshua. In the full context of Matthew 4:13-17, which quotes this prophecy, Yeshua says, “Make teshuvah (repentance), for the Kingdom of God is at hand.” This time, sin was the darkness Yisheyahu foresaw, which when followed made contempt with YHVH. However, Yeshua transformed this contempt into joy by showing Galilee the necessity to return from sinful lifestyles (Looks like the Galileans were also tohu v’bohu for an undetermined amount of time).
As we see from Isaiah and the Besorah (gospel), a variety of evil is prophetically called “darkness” as sin, unclean spirits, and various diseases want to entrap, overtake, bind, and ultimately control human beings (ref. Heb. 12:1, Matt. 12:43-45, Luk. 13:11,16). This is how evil has operated since the beginning of our time, and no one has escaped it – especially sin. As YHVH once pleaded with Cain, the second man, “sin crouches at the door. Its desire is for you…” (Gen. 4:7) Sin desires to pounce on us like a hungry lion. We have all opened the “door” to sin God warned Cain about, and went our own way (Isa. 53:6). In other words, we have all been ambushed and defeated by the power of darkness. The only liberty from the power of darkness? The Spirit of God!
Looking again at Isaiah 42:1-7 (posted above), the Spirit of God was poured on Yeshua before He freed people from prisons of darkness. It’s also no coincidence that Yeshua did not begin His ministry until the Spirit descended on Him at his immersion (see Matt. 3:14-17). In other words, just as in the Beginning, the Spirit of God descended and hovered – this time on Yeshua, because God was preparing for a war on darkness once again. This time, instead of warring for the multitude of waters, God fights for the multitude of mankind, which is what the allegory prophecy of Genesis 1:2 foreshadows.
The good news is that the Spirit of God remained here, which is always where He desired to be! Messiah promised as much, and His anointed apostles relied on the Spirit to fulfill God’s wishes:
- “When the Counselor has come, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will testify about me.” (John 15:26)
- “Now he who establishes us with you in Messiah, and anointed us, is God; who also sealed us, and gave us the down payment of the Spirit in our hearts.” (1 Cor. 1:21-22)
- “He who keeps his commandments remains in him, and he in him. By this we know that he remains in us, by the Spirit which he gave us.” (1 John 3:24)
- Don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? (1 Cor. 6:19)
Just as Yeshua demonstrated, the Spirit of God was given to His followers to combat the power of darkness; we have such a guarantee today. God anoints believers with the Spirit to eradicate darkness from the earth, as Yeshua said – the last thing He said – “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you. You will be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) That’s where He left us, and where we still remain. The Spirit of God was not intimidated by the waters which covered the earth in the Beginning, and His Spirit – the Spirit in us – is not intimidated by the multitudes covering the earth today. The bottom line – seriously, we’re now at the bottom of this post – is that the temple of the Holy Spirit is where He always wanted to reside, and the first hint of that is way back in Genesis. However, I wish all men knew there is a war for the occupation of the human soul, because as the prophet has said, the power of darkness and the Spirit of God have contempt one for the other, with no place for sharing.
[P.s. I realize that some of the Scriptures I used also mention Yeshua as a “light that shined on the darkness”. I suspect if someone is still reading at this point he will think “well that matches ‘Let there be light’!” True, true, true, but the Spirit precedes the Light. I will discuss this in my next post. Before that, I first wanted to show the war between God’s Spirit and the “darkness” that is evil. He really does fight for mankind, and so does evil. However, when a light shines in the darkness…]