Jeremiah described the earth as being “without form and void.” This looks back to the way it was as described in Genesis 1:2. Rebellion against God brought this condition and rebellion against God always brings that same condition. The 24 second adamorder in the creation account when God intervenes is from chaotic, lifeless world to a world teeming with life of every kind with the instructions from God to be fruitful and fill the earth. But sin always begins the process of deterioration from God’s original intentions for man. It directs a general trend backwards into darkness and emptiness. It’s such a frightening prospect that even the inanimate objects in creation feel the impact and shudder. In Jeremiah 4:24, he describes this condition for us; “I looked on the mountains, and behold, they were quaking, and all the hills moved to and fro.”

I this the famous preacher, Spurgeon, had the right idea when he compared the creation account of Genesis 1 with the new creation of a believer in Jesus. He might be exaggerating the situation as we experience it in our day to day life because according to Paul as long as we’re in these bodies corrupted by sin we’ll be in a struggled between God’s order and sin’s chaos. Yet, it’s the eternal hope of all believers to realize this truth. He writes, “The earth was, as the Hebrew puts it, Tohu and Bohu, disorder and confusion—in a word, chaos. So it is in the new creation. When the Lord new creates us, He borrows nothing from the old man, but makes all things new. He does not repair and add a new wing to the old house of our depraved nature, but He builds a new temple for His own praise. We are spiritually without form and empty, and darkness is upon the face of our heart, and His word comes to us, saying, “Light be,” and there is light, and ere long life and every precious thing.”[1]

David Lloyd Jones, like Spurgeon, sees this as a metaphor for the new creation as well. He writes, “This is a great theme in the Bible from beginning to end. Something like that happened even at the original creation. We read, ‘The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep’ (Gen. 1:2). How did order and creation come? Here is the answer: ‘The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters’ (v. 2). The wind of God, the breath of the Almighty, formed creation. Man was made out of the dust of the earth, but it was only when God breathed into him the breath of life that he became a living soul. That was the first creation, and the new creation is similar. The window is opened so that the heavenly breezes may enter in.”[2] John Henry Newman wrote:

O loving wisdom of our God! When all was sin and shame,

A second Adam to the fight, and to the rescue came.

[1] C. H. Spurgeon, Teachings of Nature in the Kingdom of Grace (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2009), 1–2.

[2] David Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Authentic Christianity, 1st U.S. ed., vol. 1, Studies in the Book of Acts (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2000), 285.