The Creation Of The Earth And The Origin Of Satan

Written by :   Zac Poonen Categories :   Seeker
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We know that Satan is a created being and did not exist in "the beginning" mentioned in Gen.1:1. The first act of God "in the beginning" was the creation of the heaven and the earth (Gen.1:1). But we see Satan appearing suddenly on the scene in Genesis 3:1. So he must have been created by God at sometime between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 3:1. God does not create anything evil. So Satan must have been perfect originally.

We read in Genesis 1:2 that the earth was "formless" ("tohu" - Hebrew). But we read in Isaiah 45:18 that the Lord "did not create the earth as a waste place" ("tohu" - Hebrew). Since God's word clearly states here that the earth was not created "tohu", it must therefore have become "tohu" in Genesis 1:2. God never creates anything imperfect, or in evolutionary stages. The earth was not created as a shapeless mass at first and then perfected by God, as some say. God makes everything perfect as soon as He creates anything (James 1:17). So the earth was created perfect. To believe that God first created a shapeless mass that was dark and ugly and then made it beautiful over a period of time is to believe in the evolution of the earth. That type of "evolutionary theory" is as wrong as any other theory of evolution!

We know that the earth was cursed when Adam sinned. So when the archangel sinned earlier and became Satan, his sin too must have affected the earth. His sin must have been what made the earth formless, dark and empty (Genesis 1:2). Satan's fall is described in Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28. In Ezekiel 28, we see God speaking both to the king of Tyre as well as to Satan who indwelt him. This is similar to what we have seen when dealing with demon-possessed people, where we speak at times to the person himself and at times to the demon indwelling that person. It says in that passage that the "king of Tyre" was in Eden. The human king of Tyre was never in Eden. So that passage must be referring to the spirit-king who was ruling Tyre - Satan.

So we conclude that Satan's creation and fall must have happened between the first two verses of Genesis 1. His fall is not described there because the Bible was written for man and therefore begins with man's history.

The word translated "was" in Genesis 1:2: "And the earth was without form and void" is the Hebrew word "hayah", which should actually have been translated as "became" - and it has been translated as "became" in the following verses:
"man became (hayah) a living soul" (Gen. 2:7)
"Lot's wife became (hayah) a pillar of salt" (Genesis 19:26).She wasn't always a pillar of salt. She became one. In the same way, the earth became without form and void.

Satan was cast down from "the third heaven" (the immediate presence of God- 2 Cor.12:2) at that time. But we are told in Ephesians 6:12 that Satan and his demons still dwell "in the heavenlies". The first heaven is the universe that we see with our eyes (Psa.8:3). The "heavenlies" that Satan and his demons dwell in must therefore be the second heaven, which we cannot see. One day he will be cast down from there to the earth (Rev.12:10). This may perhaps be why the Lord did not say, "It is good" on the second day (of the six days in Genesis 1), when the heavens were separated - because Satan was dwelling in the second heaven.

Two different words are used in Genesis 1 in relation to the creation and the re-making of the earth. The word used in Genesis 1:1 is "bara" (Hebrew for "created"). The word used in Genesis 1:7 is "asah" (Hebrew for "made"). Creation refers to that which was created from nothing. The word "made" refers to what was made from something that was already existing. The fishes and birds were created (v.21) and so was man (v.27). Man's body was made but his soul was created. Since every word of God is inspired, there must have been a very good reason why the Holy Spirit has used two different words in Genesis 1.

In Exodus 20:11, Scripture clearly states (beyond any shadow of doubt) that "in six days the LORD made (asah - Heb.) the heavens and the earth". Scripture never says anywhere that the Lord created the earth in six days, but always uses the word "made". The earth was MADE in 6 days - not created in 6 days. This is repeated in Exodus 31:17 too. We must be very exact when quoting Scripture - and use God's own words and not ours.

The creation of the earth was an act of a single moment (Gen.1:1). It was remade for man after the fall of the angels, in six days.

How much time was there between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2? No-one can say. Every opinion is pure speculation. It could have been one day or millions of years. The secret things belong to the Lord our God. The things that are revealed alone belong to us (Deut.29:29).

Let us align our thinking with Scripture - even if we have to change long-held opinions. Let us also be exact in quoting Scripture.

(See the note below on the word bara ).


THE MEANING OF THE HEBREW WORD BARA (TO CREATE) By W.E. Vine (from Vine's Expository c, Thomas Nelson Publishers)

bara, "to create, make"

This verb is of profound theological significance, since it has only God as its subject. Only God can "create" in the sense implied by 'bara'. The verb expresses creation out of nothing, an idea seen clearly in passages having to do with creation on a cosmic scale: "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth" Gen 1:1; cf. Gen 2:3; Isa 40:26; 42:5. All other verbs for "creating" allow a much broader range of meaning; they have both divine and human subjects, and are used in contexts where bringing something or someone into existence is not the issue.

'Bara' ' is frequently found in parallel to these other verbs, such as asah, "to make" Isa 41:20; 43:7; 45:7,12; Amos 4:13, yatsar, "to form" Isa 43:1,7; 45:7; Amos 4:13, and kun, "to establish." A verse that illustrates all of these words together is Isa 45:18: "For thus saith the Lord that 'created [bara] the heavens; God himself that 'formed [yatsar] the earth and 'made [asah] it; he hath 'established [kun] it, he 'created [bara] it not in vain, he ' formed [yatar] it to be inhabited: I am the Lord; and there is none else."

The technical meaning of 'bara' (to "create out of nothing") may not hold in these passages; perhaps the verb was popularized in these instances for the sake of providing a poetic synonym.

Objects of the verb bara include :
- the heavens and earth Gen 1:1; Isa 40:26; 42:5; 45:18; 65:17;
- man Gen 1:27; 5:2; 6:7; Deut 4:32; Ps 89:47; Isa 43:7; 45:12;
- Israel Isa 43:1; Mal 2:10;
- a new thing Jer 31:22;
- cloud and smoke Isa 4:5;
- north and south Ps 89:12;
- salvation and righteousness Isa 45:8;
- speech Isa 57:19;
- darkness Isa 45:7;
- wind Amos 4:13;
- a new heart Ps 51:10.

A careful study of the passages where 'bara' occurs shows that in the few nonpoetic uses (primarily in Genesis), the writer uses scientifically precise language to demonstrate that God brought the object or concept into being from previously nonexistent material.

Especially striking is the use of bara' in Isa 40-65. Out of 49 occurrences of the verb in the Old Testament, 20 are in these chapters. Because Isaiah writes prophetically to the Jews in exile, he speaks words of comfort based upon God's past benefits and blessings to His people. Isaiah especially wants to show that, since Yahweh is the Creator, He is able to deliver His people from captivity. The God of Israel has created all things: "I have made [asah''] the earth, and created [bara''] man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded" Isa 45:12. The gods of Babylon are impotent nonentities Isa 44:12-20; 46:1-7, and so Israel can expect God to triumph by effecting a new creation 43:16-21; 65:17-25.

Though a precisely correct technical term to suggest cosmic, material creation from nothing, bara'' is a rich theological vehicle for communicating the sovereign power of God, who originates and regulates all things to His glory.