Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning [bersehith] God created [bara] the heavens [shemayim] and the earth” [eretz].
The first Hebrew word "Bereshith" begins with the Hebrew letter B (bet). Bet means "house".
We can therefore gain the immediate insight that the universe that God designed is a house, a house that was meant to be inhabited. This fact is spelled out later by the prophet Isaiah. God's first action was to bring into existence the dual realms called "the heavens and the earth." This is another way of saying, "In the beginning God created space, time and matter." It should be immediately made clear that God's work in his creation project was to make an invisible realm (called in the New Testament "the heavenly places"), plus a material universe. The word "Heavens" is plural in verse one indicating the design and construction of the heavens was intended to create separate compartments, (a) the lower atmosphere, (b) the stellar heavens, and (c) the "third heaven" where God dwells. (2 Cor. 12:2).
Isaiah 45:18 For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord; and there is none else.
The usage of the verb "created" in verse one has two intents, it points out the fashioning of "the heavens" (plural), and "the earth." The universe is a house, a dwelling, having an "upper story" inhabited by God and the angels, and a "lower story" populated by animals, men and other creatures of the material realm. Isaiah provides insight into that fact as well.
Isaiah 40:21-22 Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is he ( Creator God ) that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:
Notice too in this verse that the prophet was informed by the Holy Spirit that the earth was round. That confirmation came 2000 years before Columbus sailed west attempting to reach the east, and 2500 years before the astronauts verified it by encircling the earth in a spacecraft.
The Hebrew word Bereshith, by definition, is not meant to convey the idea of the creative process occurring in a defined point in progressive, or linear time. Ordinarily we think of time as stretching from infinity past to the "beginning" of history, continuing through the "present," and on to the future, to the "end" of history and eternity future further out in infinity. This is a dimensional straight jacket, or mental constraint that we have put upon ourselves which is inconsistent with modern physics and the Bible as well. Creation took place before linear time was ever set in motion. It is because we are fallen creatures that we are imprisoned in linear time in the first place, that our perception of time is flawed. There are other dimensions of time and other clocks and calendars operating in the spiritual realm, and God the Creator dwells outside of time, and outside of the tent canopy that he made for our habitation. The 7-day Creation week was a unique, never-to-be-repeated sequence of happenings during which "time" and the present laws of cosmology and physics were being fashioned.
Isaiah 57:15 For thus says the high and lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: "I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite.
Isaiah 66:1 Thus saith the Lord, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?
Our Universe contains our "House", and our universe is merely the canopy that provides a covering for our house, the earth.
In the Upper Room Discourse, in his last intimate teaching time with his disciples before going to the Cross, Jesus conveyed the following:
John 14:2-3 In my Father's house ( upper universe ) are many mansions: ( dwelling places ) if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
Isaiah 66:1 Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?
We are told that the earth, and the even heavens surrounding it is but a mere footstool and all the stars and galaxies in our presently-known universe are but mere items in God's "lower house", the universe. This symbolism suggests that the third Heaven contains dwelling places beyond our comprehension! It suggests that the New Heaven and New Earth will accord us a domain that is dramatically superior to the present cosmos. For indeed the New Jerusalem shall be brought down into that New Creation!
Once he created space, time, and matter the Creator (God himself) noted that the universe was as yet "unformed and unfilled. Parenthethically we are told that immediately after the opening statement of the creation action that the Third Person of the Trinity, the Spirit of God was present, and hovering, or moving over the "face" of the waters. Here we have a hint of the role of the Holy Spirit in the creation project, shaping and forming, imparting life, and energizing the actual creation itself. The design of the universe originated in the Mind of God the Father. But it was the Son of God who literally spoke the universe into existence by a series of vocal commands in response to the Father's design. God did not speak the entire finished universe into existence with one single word. He probably could have if he had so desired, but the focus of the creation project was to build a house for Living Beings, therefore God took great care to assemble a Livable Environment before he created Life within the new house. It was a "hands-on" creation from the start, with a plan in mind, and the Creator remains involved today in the government of all the affairs of creation, including the affairs of angels, and of men. Thus the universe was built in stages, or construction modules, called days. God simply brought the raw material into being first, then with these materials he formed, sculpted, molded and fashioned a finished and habitable universe.
Much like an architect designs a house, and then sends forth a contractor or engineer to begin the building phase, God and the Son, ( Word ) coordinated the Creation. Upon each module phase the Holy Spirit would act as a Construction Inspector to assure that the process was proceeding according to design. Much like a project work-site is prepared, cement, lumber, tools and materiel are brought to the lot. The foundation and walls of the house are built first, then finished with outer and inner walls and utilities built in. Lastly the house is decorated and furnished and the occupants move in. The house is now become a functioning entity, ready for the new family to set up residence in the completed dwelling, and begin living there.
Likewise, our universe did not become a functioning, livable entity until the Creation was completed on the Seventh Day. As described in verse two of Genesis, the initial state of the earth and the heavens after the working materials were created and brought forth, was a state of being void and without form. This description is conveyed in the Hebrew words "tohu wabohu" which can be translated "unformed and unfilled." Tus the work of the remaining 5 days of creation after Day One was to then form the structure of the house and to fill it, by providing an infrastructure and life-support systems for coming created inhabitants. Afterwards, and ever since we have lived in a UNI-verse, a packaged, finally-tuned, interlinked unit which can operate properly only after first becoming a fully assembled and activated house/tent. Unfortunately for the householder, the universe became drastically altered after the creation week by the fall of one-third of the angels under the leadership of the Angelic Prime Minister Lucifer, who in turn recruited mankind into that rebellion.
Exodus 20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.
Hebrews 11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. ( Ex nihilo…meaning created without any previously existing substance )
Psalms 33:6 By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host ( Angels ) of them by the breath of his mouth.
Colossians 1:16-17 For by him ( Jesus Christ ) were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
We are all created beings and we all come from God. All that we ever can be or will be will be due to God's gracious actions on our behalf, now and in the future. We are mere houseguests in God's universe, and thus we are fully accountable to the Creator-Owner ( God-Father )and the Heir of all things, Jesus Christ the Lord! The creation was not a whimsical action of God because he lacked for something to do. God had in mind a grand plan for everything including man, which he created in his own image. The Bible does not teach the existence of any primeval matter or raw material before God's work of creation began. The New Testament assures us that the Son of God was destined to become a man in order to die for the sins of the world, (Rev. 13:8). This unique Son of God, Jesus Christ the Lord, is the member of the Godhead through whom the universe came into existence. Someday soon the owner will send the rightful heir back to this old house to claim his new creations ( those born again spiritually ) and whisk them off to the home that he has prepared for them!
By: Darrell Young