Read Genesis 1:1-2
1-2 First this: God created the Heavens and Earth—all you see, all you don’t see. Earth was a soup of nothingness, a bottomless emptiness, an inky blackness. God’s Spirit brooded like a bird above the watery abyss. (THE MESSAGE)
There were no eyewitnesses to what is recorded here. It is God-inspired reflection on the world coming into being as an initiative of God. The writer, in seeking to describe the indescribable, is stretching language to its limits.
We might imagine the creation of the world as some sort of mechanical process performed by a wonder-working deity—and we would be right to an extent. But our text here reminds us that our creator is far from detached from his creation. His Spirit didn’t just get activated on the day of Pentecost. He was there right at the very beginning.
And he is still here today. The poet Gerard Manley Hopkins puts it like this: “…the Holy Ghost over the bent world broods with warm breast and ah! bright wings.” The one who was present at creation is still hovering over creation now, bent out of shape though it is.
Another reminder of the nature of creation is offered by C. S. Lewis, who in his Narnia books has the world being created by Aslan the lion singing it into being. God’s word is the instrument of creation.
Our God is not some mere manipulator of molecules. He who has flung stars into space and sustains planets in their orbits has a deep personal interest in what he has made. Having made it all out of his sublime power, he broods over it out of his intense love.