The Attackers: Perfection of Original Creation, Earth Plunged into Darkness by the Fall of Lucifer: Genesis 1:1 cf. Genesis 1:2 in Isaiah 45:18; Jennings’s Synopsis: the “Indefinite Hiatus” of Gen 1:2; Uniformitarianism cf. Catastrophism or Naturalism cf. Supernaturalism; the Copernican Principle: “There Is Life on Other Planets”: Sun, Earth, & Man Are Not Exceptional in the Universe; Examples of Idea from Science-Fiction Genre in Film
Isaiah 45:18 - For thus says the Lord, who created[ ar*B*baraʼ] the heavens[ shamaim] (He is the God who formed[ rx^y*yatsar] the earth and made[ hc*u*ʻasah] it, He established[ /WKkun] it and did not create it a waste place[ WhT)tohu], but formed[ ar*B*baraʼ] it to be inhabited[ bv^y*yashav]), “I am the Lord, and there is none else.” (nasb)
28. This verse contains information that makes it possible to nail down the creative acts of Genesis 1:1 and Colossians 1:16 as well as the events of Genesis 1:2 and Genesis 1:3–31.
29. We will develop this verse by taking the words indicated in the original Hebrew in sequential order:
(1)ar*B* (baraʼ): Used exclusively with God as the subject and means to create ex nihilo. This correlates with Genesis 1:1 where we find bara’ as the creation verb in the phrase “In the beginning God created the heavens.” This refers to original creation.
(2) The word “heavens” is the noun (shamaim) which we learned is a plurale tantum: in the plural only. It is classified as a dual noun in Hebrew and is always considered plural when referencing the universe. Therefore, there is no “multiverse.”
(3) Isaiah inserts a parenthesis here in which he elaborates on the restoration of the earth which takes place over a six-day period in Genesis 1:3-31.
The creation verb that introduces it is rx^y*(yatsar), translated “formed.” This refers to a process of working with existing materials as when a potter molds clay. The Lord’s restoration of the earth beginning in verse 3 used melting ice to structure the topography of the earth.
(4) The Lord restored the earth according to a pattern brought out by the verb hc*u* (ʻasah)which refers to creating existing materials according to a pattern. This is brought out in Genesis 1:31 when at the conclusion of the restoration “God saw all that he had made (ʻasah), and behold, it was very good.”
(5) The end result of the restoration was the earth being stabilized to accommodate, sustain, and prolong an environment for the human race. The word is /WK (kun) and it sums up the restoration of the earth from its former condition.
(6) That condition is described in Genesis 1:2 as being “formless and void”: Whb)w* WhT) (tohu wabohu). Tohu refers to a chaotic and disordered planet while bohu indicates empty and vacuous. Isaiah says that once the restoration was completed that it was no longer “formless”: WhB)-aO (lo tohu): not disordered.
(7) Isaiah next reverts back to the original creation by use of the verb ar*B* (baraʼ): to create out of nothing. His original intent was to create the universe and planet earth to be inhabited which concludes the verse.
(8) The word is bv^y* (yashav): “to be inhabited” and it can refer to man, animals, and those things necessary for life.
30. The preceding “catastrophe” was brought about by the fall of Lucifer and the resultant aftermath of his trial and sentence for rebellion against God.
31. An excellent summary of these events is provided by F. C. Jennings in his Studies in Isaiah:
… verse 18 … forces a series of questions as to the beginning of the earth and indeed much more than that, that only the inspired volume as a whole can answer. In reading Genesis 1:1, 2 for the first time who would not inevitably conclude that God created the earth a chaos, “without form (tohu) and void”—waste and desolate, and out of that chaos fashioned it in six “days” to be a fitting dwelling place for man? So apparently speaks Genesis, but verse 18 [of Isaiah 45] absolute denies it! Moses seems to say that it was created “without form,” or (to use the same Hebrew word) tohu, while Isaiah tells us that it was not created tohu. Is there not then a glaring contradiction between them here? Is there not perfection attached to all His creative acts? Does even a human mechanic—such as a watchmaker—express his skill by a confused jumble of wheels? Surely not! Apart from other Scripture, a thoughtful Jew reading those two verses would say that some stupendous and tragic cataclysm must have occurred to bring the primal perfect creation of the first verse to the ruined tohu condition of the second. (pp. 537–38)
But centuries pass, and again we see the earth a ruin. Again the restless waters of the great deep cover it. Again there is tohu everywhere, save where a little ark floats, bearing within it a family on which all earth’s hopes depend. But in this case we know that it was the creature’s wickedness, the violence and corruption which filled the earth, that caused the ruin. Inevitably we are led to ask if a similar cause had not intervened between the two first verses of the Bible? But what creature could it be whose wickedness wrought the ruin? Again must centuries pass, generations come and go whilst a divine revelation is gradually unfolding, and when that is completed all uncertainties as to Genesis 1:1, 2 are removed, and we find that indefinite hiatus between these verses to have been filled with a tragedy indeed—a mighty revolt of a pre-Adamite race, headed by one sinister figure now called Satan or Devil, whose mighty crime was his claim to be equal with God his creator ([Isaiah] 14:13).
Here then we find the cause of the tohu condition. … in that mighty creature’s rebellion we find the reason for the condition of our earth in Genesis 1:2. Not alone did Lucifer then fall, but he brought down with him the whole creation of which he was the head in one cataclysmic crash and ruin! (p. 538)
After the ruin of that creation God did not abandon it, but formed[ rx^y*yatsar] it for another race to inhabit.1 (p. 539)
32. Jennings’s synopsis argues for what is classified among theologians as the Doctrine of the Gap, indicating an undetermined period of time ) or “indefinite hiatus”) between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2.
33. To fully document this doctrine it is necessary to review two definitions:
Uniformitarianism: a geological doctrine that processes acting in the same manner as at present and over long spans of time are sufficient to account for all current geological features and all past geological changes.
Catastrophism: a geological doctrine that changes in the earth’s crust have in the past been brought about suddenly by physical forces operating in ways that cannot be observed today.2
34. The verses we have examined to document the processes by which the universe and the earth came into existence reveal an unknown lapse of time between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2.
35. The naturalistic worldview is associated with the Copernican Principle, which contends that the earth is not unique, holding special significance in the universe.
36. Nicolaus Copernicus (1473–1543) was a Polish astronomer who formally documented that the sun did not rotate around the earth but rather the opposite. His official paper, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, was published in 1543.
36. This excerpt from the Encyclopaedia Britannica explains why the Copernican Principle created a paradigm shift in scientific research that has continued into the twenty-first century:
The Copernican Principle is a basic statement in physics that there should be no “special'' observers. For example, the Aristotelian model of the solar system in the Middle Ages placed the Earth at the center of the solar system, a unique place since it “appears'' that everything revolved around the Earth. Nicolaus Copernicus demonstrated that this view was incorrect and that the Sun was at the center of the solar system with the Earth in orbit around the Sun.
The implications of Copernicus' work cannot be exaggerated. His views challenged the literal interpretation of Scripture, the philosophical and metaphysical foundations of moral theory, and even common sense itself. The result was a massive opposition to his reported ideas.
It was the slow, sure acceptance of the heliocentric theory by natural philosophers that ultimately quieted the general clamor, however the name of Copernicus is still a battle cry against the establishment in religion, philosophy and science. In later years with Freud, man lost his Godlike mind; with Darwin his exalted place among the creatures of the Earth; with Copernicus man had lost his privileged position in the Universe.3
37. In fairness to Copernicus, he did not conclude from his discovery of our heliocentric solar system that Earth and the human race were of no special significance. These ideas were fabricated later by scientists who imputed them to Copernicus’s finding.
38. Post-Copernican discoveries in cosmology led to the development of “mediocrity principle” based on these assumptions: (1) the earth is not the center of the universe, (2) neither is the sun, (3) there are other suns with planets, (4) just as life evolved on a planet in the “habitable zone” of its host star, so surely other such planets must likewise populate the universe, and (5) consequently there is life on other planets.
39. Popular entertainment has promoted this idea in the science fiction genre. Examples include, The Thing, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Super 8, Avatar, Star Trek, Star Wars, War of the Worlds, They Live, Alien, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Superman, Invaders from Mars, Cocoon, E. T.: The Extra Terrestrial, Signs, Invasion of the Body Snatchers and Cowboys and Aliens.
1 F. C. Jennings, Studies in Isaiah (New York: Loizeaux Brothers Bible Truth Press, nd), 537-38, 539.