1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
2 But the earth became waste and emptiness, and darkness was on the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was brooding upon the surface of the waters.
3 And God said, Let there be light; and there was light.
2 Corinthians 4:
6 Because the God who said, Out of darkness light shall shine, is the One who shined in our hearts to illuminate the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
8 And when He comes, He will convict the world concerning sin and concerning righteousness and concerning judgment.
24 Truly, truly, I say to you, He who hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life, and does not come into judgment but has passed out of death into life.
4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
The first two chapters of Genesis appear to be a record of God’s creation, but the underlying thought is completely a matter of life. This is why some people consider that chapters 1 and 2 of Genesis are too simple, too brief, to be a record of creation. We agree. As a record of God’s creation, it is too simple. But we know that the Bible is not a record of creation, neither a record of history, nor a record of any stories. The Bible is completely a book of life. The whole Bible is focused on life. If we read the first chapter of Genesis carefully and have light from the Holy Spirit, we can realize that it is absolutely a chapter of life. It was written from the point of view of life.
You may say that the word “life” is not found in this chapter. This is true. Nevertheless, we can find many items pertaining to life. When God recovered the earth on the third day, all kinds of plant life were produced. Then came the animal life in the water, the animal life in the air, the animal life on the earth, the human life, and ultimately the divine life in chapter 2. Hallelujah! Life is the focus of these two chapters. From this perspective, we can surely understand the record of Genesis 1.
The Spirit Came
God’s original creation was damaged by Satan’s rebellion and then judged by God Himself. After God’s judgment, there remained nothing except darkness upon the surface of the deep water. This signifies a death condition. In the midst of this death condition, the Bible suddenly says, “And the Spirit of God was brooding upon the surface of the waters.” Isn’t this wonderful? The Spirit was brooding. Hallelujah! “The Spirit was brooding” as a hen broods over her eggs in order to produce little chickens. When the Bible first says something about the Spirit, it doesn’t say “the power of the Spirit,” “the might of the Spirit,” but it says that the “Spirit of God was brooding over the surface of the waters.” This means that He was preparing to generate life. We need to see that the record of Genesis 1 is something related to life, to God’s gospel, and to spiritual things. For this we have a strong proof in 2 Corinthians 4:6. Paul says, “God who said, Out of darkness light shall shine, is the One who shined in our hearts for the illumination of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” This certainly was a reference to chapter one of Genesis. By this one verse, we can realize that everything recorded in Genesis 1 must be related to life, to God’s shining, and to God’s gospel. Based upon this verse, we need to interpret everything according to life.
We need to recall our condition before we were saved. We were just waste and empty, our lives were meaningless, and we were covered with darkness. Within us was an abyss, a bottomless pit. And in this abyss was a swarm of demons, driving us to lose our temper, to gamble, to go to the movies, and to do many other evil things. We were waste and empty, yet full of darkness and death.
But, hallelujah! One day, some living One began to hover over us, to work within our heart, to brood upon the death and the deep within us. This was not something psychological or ethical, but the living One working within us, working so gently, lovingly, like a big hen brooding over the eggs in her nest. This is the brooding and the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit.
The Lord Jesus said (John 16:8-11) that when the Holy Spirit is come, He will reprove, He will convince the world (meaning humanity) of sin (related to Adam), of righteousness (related to Christ), and of judgment (related to Satan). He will rebuke in a brooding way, in a very kind way, not in a violent way. In the whole universe, there are only three persons—Adam, Christ, and Satan. The Holy Spirit works within us, convincing us that we were born in Adam and have nothing but sin, that we have no way to escape sin and Adam’s influence without believing in Christ. The Holy Spirit will brood within us and speak to us, saying, “Look, Jesus died on the cross for you and He has accomplished everything that is required by God. Now the real righteousness is with Him. If you turn to Him and believe in Him, you will receive Him as your righteousness. He has passed through incarnation, He has passed through life on this earth, He has passed through crucifixion and resurrection. Now He is accepted by God at His right hand. He is there as the proof that if you believe on Him, you will be free of sin and obtain righteousness. If you don’t do this, you will go with Satan into God’s judgment.” By this brooding of the Holy Spirit, you will be fully convinced and will say, “Lord Jesus, I have nothing to say, but I thank You.” By this, you are regenerated, you are born again of the Spirit (John 3:6-7).
The Spirit of God came. This coming of the Holy Spirit is the first requirement for generating life. The Spirit came to brood over the waters of death which submerged the earth, brooding that life might be generated.
The Word Came
The Word of God came to bring in the light. This is the second requirement for generating life. Verse 3 reads, “And God said…” God spoke; that was the Word of God. To speak is not a small thing. Suppose I come to the platform and remain silent, while you look at me and I look at you. What is this? This is death. If I am a living person, I cannot just stand here and be silent for an hour. As long as I am living, I must speak. When I speak, it means that I am living, and that what I speak will be something living. God spoke and the Word of God came to bring in the light. “And God said, Let there be light.” The divine Word always brings us light.
Check with your own experience. First, the Spirit broods over you. Then comes the speaking. Through that speaking, you receive a living Word and that living Word enlightens you within. When God speaks, He commands the light to shine out of darkness. “God who said, Out of darkness light shall shine, is the One who shined in our hearts…” Hallelujah! God’s speaking brings in light.
The Lord Jesus said that whoever hears His Word and believes has life (John 5:24). If we hear the Lord’s Word and believe, we have life. James 1:18 tells us that God has brought us forth with His Word.
The Light Came
Now we come to the third requirement for generating life: the light came to dispel the darkness that covered the waters of death. Praise the Lord. This is really meaningful. I can testify that when I was saved, it was exactly like this: firstly, the Spirit came; secondly, the Word of God came; thirdly, the light came. I was enlightened within. Something was shining within me. I believe that this was also your experience.
In addition to 2 Corinthians 4:6, we have John 1:4, 5, and 9. “In the beginning was the Word…In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it” (John 1:1, 4-5). Darkness can never overcome light. Light always dispels darkness. When light comes, darkness must flee.
Who and what is light? Light is Christ, the living Word of God. When Christ came as the real Light to shine in the darkness, the darkness could not overcome Him. He is the real Light.
We should remember the three comings: the coming of the Spirit, the coming of the Word, and the coming of Light.
Life Study of Genesis, Chapter 3, W. Lee