Friday, February 15, 2008

Was it Vain?

I was reading in Isaiah this morning and came to this verse:

"For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens, who is God, who formed the earth and made it, who established it, who did not create it in vain, who formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord, and there is no other."
Isaiah 45:18

The phrase that stood out to me was "who did not create it in vain". What exactly does that mean? Well at first glance it seems like obviously God had a purpose in creating the earth, and the verse goes on to say the purpose is inhabitation. Case closed right. But why use the word vain? Was there a deeper explanation?

I checked up the Hebrew word for vain - tohuw (tohoo). This word literally means a waste or desolation as in the sense of destruction. So God did not create the earth to be a waste land. Ok fine, he created it for the purpose of being inhabited.

However, what is really interesting is that this same Hebrew word is used in Genesis 1:2.

"The earth was without form (tohuw), and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters."

Here another word is also used to describe the earth; void. The Hebrew for void is Bohuw (bohoo) which carries the meaning of either vacuous or an undistinguishable ruin. So to paraphrase Gen 1:2, the earth was a desolate wasteland and beyond recognition.

So my question is; If God did not create the earth this way, how did it end up like this in the second verse of the Bible? Was there something that occurred after verse one?


Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

The rebellion of Satan.

God created the original world (the world that perished) to be inhabited by angels, but this world was destroyed by a flood.

God Bless


bobby grow said...

Uh . . . oh, I hear the "gap theory" coming ;-).

Jim said...

Yeah and I believe that each day of creation was actually millions of years. :)

Come on, it's an honest question. Does anybody have a half decent answer?

R L Whiteside said...

Speculating away your time on the unknown is a fun pastime. However let me admonish you not to forget the "weightier matters" in scripture.

Jim said...

Whiteside, do I know you? :)

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Jim, are you saying my answer is not decent?

Jim said...

Matthew, I was hoping to get the opinions of others as well.

Matt McClay said...

Yes Jim, you seem to like to dive into controversial waters. And as bobby grow points out, I can hear the gap theory coming... :-)

Ha! But as soon as someone mentions "gap theory" most of us hide behind our favorite creationist and spout their wisdom ad nauseum without further digging.

I am not saying I've bought the gap theory. Or any other theory.

However, I do believe the Bible to be true. I have read the same text and asked myself, okay, what really happened here? Something obviously did. And the answers I've heard still remain shallow to me.

So yes, I will ask the same question a little differently. What occurred after verse one? And please do not say God began His creation process. That's one of those shallow answers.

Sidharth said...

Each day of creation was not a million year. Scripture plainly tells us that there was evening and morning the first day. Moses later relates to this in Ex 20:11 that these were 6 literal days.

But I DO believe there was a gap between Gen 1:1 and Gen 1:2, and yes probably a period of million years. Lucifer was hurled down to the earth from heaven when he rebelled against the Most High. Him being thrown down to earth brought gloom, darkness and voidness.

I have thoroughly studied "Tohu va bohu", and if people are open to the Scriptures, I believe I can convince them from Scripture the gap between Gen1:1 and Gen 1:2.

For info, Tohu and bohu mean what you said in Hebrew, but when put together they have a different's like the words harem scarem and upside-down.

If you'd like to know more, just mail me and I'll get back to you.


Jim said...

Sidharth, I would be interested in hearing more; where do I find your email address?

Sidharth said...

You can mail me here:, and I'll give you my personal mail.

Sidharth said...

Or otherwise you can mail me using the prayer request column on our site, since that gets to me faster and there is no risk of missing it ;)