In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
Have you ever wondered what was before the Earth? What was God doing before he created the heavens and the earth? I know, “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God” (Deuteronomy 29:29) and most of the answers to the question remain a mystery known only to God. However, I have often wondered and consequently given some thought to the matter.
God is totally self-sufficient
To hear some preachers and teachers tell it, God must have been lonely. He didn’t have anyone to talk to, to confide in. That’s why he made mankind. He made us for fellowship. Indeed, God did make us to have fellowship with himself, but it was not because he was lonely. In fact, God was not lonely and he did not make us to meet a deficiency in himself. God is entirely self-sufficient. Everything God needs is inherent in himself. God is infinitely perfect. He lacks nothing. He needs nothing. He doesn’t need me and He doesn’t need you. He had complete, full, and satisfactory fellowship in himself. The reasoning behind his creative acts will not be known this side of heaven.
God is Immutable
As we read the Bible and coalesce our knowledge of God, we find that God has always been (he is eternal) and he never changes. “I am Jehovah, I change not,” Because God is infinitely perfect in every aspect of his being he can have no deficiencies, no defects, no lacks. If God needed fellowship — if he needed anything —he would not be perfect. If he did have a lack, a need, and created something to fill that lack or need He would then have had to change. But God does not change. He would have had a deficiency in himself and would not be God.
God is Eternal
We know too, that God is eternal. Psalm 90:2 (Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, you are God) and 1 Timothy 1:17 (Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.), among others, attests to God’s eternality. He exists. He is. Eternity is infinity with respect to time. Even that statement, taken on its face, is not true. Time is made. It was determined and made by God. Time started, with respect to our universe, when God declared “the evening and the morning were the first day,” (Genesis 1:5). And time will end with the return of Jesus Christ for His saints.
Before the “Big Bang”
When we think of pre-creation, we tend to imagine that everything was a great cosmic darkness. I do not believe this was so. I know that Genesis 1:3 says, “And God said, ‘Let there be light:’ and there was light.” But that only applies to our universe. God himself dwells “in the light which no man can approach unto” (1 Timothy 6:16). This is what theologians call an antinomy: (in theology) an apparent contradiction between two truths. How can light and darkness coexist?
It is not my purpose to answer, let alone to discuss, that question. What is true is that God dwells in light — ultra bright light. It is also true that, as far as Earth is concerned, there was total darkness. “And the Earth was without form, and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep. … And God said, “Let there be light, and there was light,” (Genesis 1:2,3).
These are the some of the things we can know of a certainty about God before time, before Creation. But there are some other things that we can deduce from Scripture:
God determined and knew from eternity past all events that would transpire throughout history.
Because God is perfect in all his essence (which include His attributes) He cannot change. If God could change, being perfect, He would no longer be perfect. One of God’s attributes is omniscience, the attribute of knowing everything. If God knows everything from eternity he would, of necessity determine everything that comes to pass. If God did not determine everything that comes to pass then some events of history would be left up to chance and those things, not being determined, could not be foreknown. In Isaiah 46:9-11 it is written:
“Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executes my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.”
The historical event of the Fall of Man was predetermined by God.
This event is recorded for us in Genesis 3. We know that it was predetermined because the Bible tells us
God’s provision to remedy it was also predetermined, and was predetermined before the event occurred making it necessary.
Peter, on the day of Pentecost, proclaimed:
You men of Israel, hear these words: “Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as you yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, you have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain,” Acts 2:22,23.
Jesus Christ is also called “the Lamb slain from [Gr., apo, which can also be translated “before”] the foundation of the world,” Revelation 13:8, 17:8.
That is amazing: God sacrificed his only begotten Son for us before time; that is, he ordained Jesus Christ to die in our place and in our stead before he created the world. That is marvelous. That is awesome. That is beyond comprehension. That is grace.
The Bible is not silent on God before time, although diligent study and meditation is required to dig it out. God designed our world for us, he designed us for himself, and gave his only begotten Son for us all in timeless eternity. We are here by design, not by chance. God left nothing to chance. And in eternity, when time shall be no more, we who believe in Jesus Christ the Lord will sing his praises and perhaps learn more fully what life is all about.