|Does Isaiah 45 teach that God made the earth "without form"?|
Doesn't Isaiah 45:18 prove that God did not create the earth "without form"?
In the New Scofield Reference Bible, the editors moved the note on the Gap Theory from its place in the old edition (Genesis 1:2) to Isaiah 45:18, since this verse seems to offer stronger proof for the theory than any other. Isaiah 45:18 states that God did not create the earth "without form" (tohu), but Genesis 1:2 states that the earth was "tohu." Thus it would seem that the earth became formless some time after the initial creation. But to understand Isaiah's meaning, we must look at 45:18 in its context. The last phrase of the verse explains the point. Isaiah is speaking of God's design in creation. God did not create the world to be an empty place, but formed it to be inhabited. It was never God's purpose to have an empty world, so He filled it with inhabitants. In Genesis 1:2, therefore, the formless and empty state of the earth on the first day was simply the beginning, not the goal of creation. During the five days of creation that followed, God progressively finished the earth's shape and filled it with creatures. By the end of the sixth day, the earth was no longer "tohu." God had achieved all that He intended, and rested on the seventh day. Further, the context of Isaiah 45:18 shows why the prophet discusses this truth here. What God starts, He finishes (see 55:11; 66:9). Israel's salvation is guaranteed, because (according to 45:17) it is eternal. It was planned "from the foundation of the earth," and therefore must come about-despite present appearances. Just as God accomplished His creative purpose for the earth in six days, so He will perform His saving purpose for Israel in due time.
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