The Genesis Gap Sidetrack

Who's Afraid of the Dark?

Darkness All Around

Another word some of the Gap Theorists brethren really like to seize on in Genesis 1:2 is "darkness." They will ride the "darkness" issue bareback trying to prove a previous "world."They often produce a list of verses and arguments showing how "darkness" in the Bible is nearly always negative and evil (John 1:5; 8:12; Acts 26:18; Col. 1:13; 1 Pet. 2:9; 1 John 1:5-7; 2:9-11, etc.), and God is its opposite being "light" and good (1Jo 5:1). They then proclaim that there is no way God would have created the heaven and earth in darkness since He is the epitome of light. Darkness had to be the result of judgment.

Sounds so nice and "logical," doesn't it? Here is what they conveniently omit. Many times when the Bible speak of "darkness" it is not physical darkness but a lack of moral or spiritual illumination (Mat 6:22-23; Luke 11:34-36; John 1:5; 8:12; 12:35, 46; 1Jo 1:5; 2:8-9, 11, etc). The great majority of times the terms "darkness" and "light" are used in the Bible they refer metaphorically to spiritual matters. "Light" is the positive element and "darkness" is the negative. This parallels their physical characteristics where darkness hinders sight and light aids it. Sometimes both physical and spiritual light are mentioned together (with physical darkness),

For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2Co 4:6)

Notice how Paul says the "light shined out of darkness." A clear reference to the first day of creation. The stars are an example of this. The night sky is naturally dark and the points of light shine out of the darkness. Thus darkness is the default state.

However, there are instances in the Bible where darkness is a blessing. When the Israelites were fleeing Egypt the Lord "put darkness between [them] and the Egyptians" to protect them (Jos 24:7). Furthermore, Exodus 20:21 tells us that God dwells "in the thick darkness." This may be for the protection of man as well. God is unapproachable spiritual light but dwells in thick, physical darkness (2Ch 6:1; Psa 97:2).

An object of darkness can have a dual role; it can be darkness to one but "light" to another. The darkness the "angel of the lord" placed between Israel and Egypt was only darkness to the Egyptians. To the Israelites it was light and illumination,

"...and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them: And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these:...." (Exo 14:19-20)

Darkness can also be used by the Lord as punishment which makes it an effective tool for righteousness (Nam 1:8). Darkness in blindness (Deu 28:29) can be used for the "glory of God" as the blind man's blindness in John 9.

Creation and Darkness

Of course, the context of creation is physical light and the absence of it causing darkness. According to current understanding darkness is not material or an element of its own; it a concept that speaks of the absence of any light. The Bible speaks of God creating darkness (Isa 45:7) but this still doesn't mean it has a material existence like light. In one sense it could mean that God creates darkness by simply removing all types of light, but there is more to it than that. God created the whole concept of physical darkness when he created the physical reality. There was no such thing until then.

When God created the material reality he made two concepts default throughout the physical universe, darkness and cold. Neither one actually has a material existence. They both are manifestations of the absence of something, that is, light and heat respectively. Every part of the universe is at absolute zero in temperature and in absolute darkness in illumination until the natural forces of heat and light act upon it in some way. Thus in Gen 1:2 darkness is the natural, default state of the then physical universe. It does not necessarily have any connotation of evil or judgment. The obvious reason the "face of the deep" was dark was because no light had yet been created to dispel it.

Note: Another enigma the Scriptures do not address is how water as liquid could exist in Gen 1:2 without the existence of some source of heat. As we all know water turns to ice below 32 degrees Fahrenheit so the temperature of the existing creation in Gen 1:2 must have been above that temperature. So along with water being created in silence, an unknown source of heat was created as well.

This heat was also needed for the plants created on day three to exist; a day before the sun was created.

At this point the some of Gapists will state that the Bible text doesn't say God created light in Gen 1:3 but that He only revealed already existing light. They insist the words, "Let their be light" are not a creative act. This is just more contrived nonsense. "Let" in a creative sense is used eight times in Gen 1, with the last time being the creation of man. So to follow their reasoning the Lord did not create the firmament, sun, plants, sea life, land animals, or man because He used some form of "let there be..." without specifically saying "create"? Hogwash. When the Lord said,

Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life...And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth.... (Gen 1:20-21)

He is showing us that "Let the waters bring..." is the same as saying "And God created...." Only someone with an agenda would claim otherwise.

However, the Gapists will continue their complaint with, "But God is light and dwells in light, there was light everywhere...." Yes, God is light and is also a spirit, thus His light is the spiritual light of illumination and glory. This is the light no man can approach. You don't find any physical light in the Bible until Gen 1:3 where He first created it! Before that the default darkness reigned completely.

Also, it is very significant to understand that the Lord did not abolish darkness when he created light. If darkness is only negative and a result of wrath and judgment as most Gap Theorists claim, why did God keep it around? He could have formed a reality that knew no physical darkness and the newly created light (and later sun) shined upon the whole creation constantly, but instead He kept darkness around in 1:4 and even included it in his blanket proclamation that everything was "very good" in Gen 1:31 (see next section). any of our Gapist brethren need to take a fresh look at their claims.

In view of these facts it is readily apparent that "darkness" was a normal condition at the beginning of creation week. Because of the nature of the physical reality the Lord had just created, darkness would have been the natural result. Although spiritual darkness can be caused by sin, there is no indication that sin was in any way involved in Gen 1:2. The Gap Theorists insistence it is, is just more unproven "hot air."

Is it All "Very Good"?

Most of the Gap Theorist brethren will take issue with our statement that the Lord made a blanket proclamation that "every thing" he created in creation week was "very good." This is for a couple reasons. One is it makes the Lord say darkness in 1:4-5 is good, and second, some of them insist that Satan and his fallen cohorts were placed in the heavens on day two when the firmament was made, and God could not say that was good either. This is simply another case of them forcing the Bible to conform to their doctrine.

Some of the Gapists will smugly bring up that the Lord did not say what he created on Day 2 was "good" like he did on the other days so what happened that day must not be good. Then they will insist they know the reason: Satan's fall (or at least his relegation to the "air" or spirit world). However, there are some very pertinent facts about God's proclamations of "good" during creation week they are not telling you (probably because they are just repeating "talking points" and don't know themselves). The events of day two are not the only things the Lord did not directly call "good."

During the six days of creation God said something was "good" seven times. Therefore, the proclamations are not day based but event based. One day (day two) he didn't say anything was good, but two days he said something was good twice (days three and six). In addition, look at the first day when God said "Let there be light" (1:3-5). He specifically said that light was "good," but did not say dividing the light from darkness and naming light "Day" and darkness "Night" was good. Does that mean day and night are in some way evil? It is similar on day five where God says things are "good" before He tells the sea life and fowls to be fruitful and multiply. Is there some hidden, mystical reason He didn't think sea life and birds multiplying was good either, even after He commanded them to do so? Hardly.

Finally, on the sixth day the Lord says things are "good" twice. The first time for the beasts of the field, and then after He creates man He gives the blanket proclamation. How do we know it covers the whole week? A simple observation of language. With His final proclamation the Lord said, "And God saw every thing that he had made...," but He only made ONE thing since his last "good" proclamation—Adam. It would be silly to say "every thing" for only one thing; the Lord does not make linguistic mistakes, thus the "very good" proclamation encompasses the whole week.

See what just a little bit of study will reveal instead of relying on someone else's word?

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