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Although I have never taken the time to try to date the beginning of man, it has been done by others.  It is generally agreed that Adam was created a little more than 6,000 years ago.  The genealogy of the Lord Jesus is traced all the way back to Adam in Luke 2:23-38.  From the time of Christ until now, has been a little more than 2,000 years.  But, does this absolutely mean that the earth is 6,000 years old?  I don’t think that it does.

Let’s carefully consider Genesis 1:1-2, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”  First, let’s look at the word ‘was’ in the phrase, “the earth was without form and void.”  The literal meaning of this word is: to exist, i.e. be or become, come to pass.  That changes the meaning of the sentence, doesn’t it?  According to the meaning of the Hebrew word, “Hayah”, we could rightfully consider this verse to mean that “the earth became without form, and void.”  This same Hebrew word, “Hayah” is translated ‘become’ in Deuteronomy 27:9, ‘brought to pass’ in Ezekiel 21:7, and ‘shall be’ in Daniel 12:1.

Now let’s consider the words of the prophet in Isaiah 45:18, “For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.”  Let’s carefully consider the phrase, “he created it not in vain.”  The Hebrew for vain is ‘tohuw’, which is translated ‘void’ in Genesis 1:2.  This shows us that although the earth was void in Genesis 1:2, that is not the way the Lord created it.  It does stand to reason that a perfect God would create a perfect world for man to dwell in, not a world that was without form and void.

What does all this mean?  It is very possible, even likely, that between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2, there is an unknown expanse of time.  It could be thousands, millions, or even billions of years.  In Genesis 1:1, God created the heaven and the earth.  According to Isaiah 45:18, the Lord did not create the world void, yet in Genesis 1:2, we find that the world is, indeed, void.  How did the heaven and earth become without form and void?  It is likely that that this is when Lucifer was cast down from his position in Heaven.  The six days of creation in Genesis, chapter one is the Lord re-establishing order for his creation.

There is much discussion and controversy between the ‘new earth’ and ‘old earth’ teachings.  Some have used the ‘new earth’ teaching to say that the earth cannot be more than 6,000 years old.  Some have used the ‘old earth’ teaching to explain the millions of years that it took for the evolutionary process to produce a man.  This is totally against the clear teachings of scripture that teaches us in Genesis 2:7 that, “…the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”  Some have used the ‘old earth’ teaching to insist that during this long period of time is when dinosaurs and other such creatures roamed the earth and died off before the beginning of man.  Again, this is against the clear teaching of scripture that teaches us that death came because of sin as we read in Romans 5:12, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”  Before the sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, there was no sin, so therefore there was no death.

So, what did happen during that unlimited span of time between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2?  We just don’t have the answer to that question.  We definitely know that God created man and that nothing died before man sinned.  We know that the Lord created the world in perfection, yet we find it to be without form and void.  I am confident that one day when we are in Glory, the Lord will explain these deep mysteries to us.