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Chaos To Order, Restlessness to Rest – Genesis 1:1-2:3

God’s purposeful action to transform the chaos that existed in the beginning into an organized system of life.  As each progressive step unfolds, God’s increasing satisfaction with his work culminating in the creation of man and woman.  The chaos had been transformed to order and God rested.

Genesis 1:1-2:3

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.

Then God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” God made the expanse, and separated the waters which were below the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse; and it was so. God called the expanse heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.

Then God said, “Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so. 10 God called the dry land earth, and the gathering of the waters He called seas; and God saw that it was good. 11 Then God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them”; and it was so. 12 The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit with seed in them, after their kind; and God saw that it was good. 13 There was evening and there was morning, a third day.

14 Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years; 15 and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. 16 God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; He made the stars also. 17 God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 and to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good. 19 There was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.

20 Then God said, “Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.” 21 God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good. 22 God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23 There was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.

24 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind”; and it was so. 25 God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good.

26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; 30 and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so. 31 God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

2 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.

The Theme Explained

Before continuing, read the passage above and slowly let the images soak in.  Each image is someone’s personal expression of the theme.  Discover how the images reveal the theme from the passage.


In the opening scene, the description of the universe is without form and void (1:2). Darkness being upon the face of the deep gives the impression that darkness was dominant, if not supreme, within this formless void. God’s spirit, hovering over the waters, indicates God’s presence, but as of yet, he had not made his mark. The story of creation is the story of how God set right this unacceptable situation.

God springs into action through the power of his voice, and, as each successive creation cycle unfolds, God performs even greater acts in the process. In every repeating sequence, God’s seal of approval is given, culminating in Day 6 in which the narrator emphasizes the fact that God assessed all he had done as very good. Upon this final evaluation, God, increasingly mobilized and involved throughout the first six days, has reached a point of rest and satisfaction in the seventh day.

Chaos had become order, not just through order in organization but through order in delegation. God’s order included delegated assignments and responsibilities. The sun and moon had been given their celestial responsibilities. The earth was assigned the task of producing vegetation and wildlife. Birds, fish, and, by association, animals were to fill the earth. Finally, man was given the greatest responsibility of having dominion over all created life.

The formless void had been given form and had been filled. The first three days of creation shaped the universe by creating spaces, first of light and dark, second of water and heavens, and third with land. The final three days filled these spaces. The darkness that had dominated the deep, had been replaced by the sun and the moon to rule the heavens, the earth to give life, and mankind to have dominion over that life.

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