Adult Sunday School – Part 3 – Disaster strikes – by P.K.Odendaal – July 2012
We have seen that God has created the heavens and earth in Genesis 1:1 - and all was well.
But then … sin was found on earth ... and God destroyed almost everything on earth, with only a few souls remaining. Scripture says He shook the earth.
The aftermath of this tragedy is described in Genesis 1 verse 2 : And the earth was without form, and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep. In Hebrew the word ‘hayah’ is used which means ‘it became’ and not as translated ‘it was’.
It is clear from this scripture that something terrible happened. If you read this as part of the original creation, you need to explain why God created such a chaotic thing. After Gen. 1:1 the earth was perfect, because God does not create chaos. But, in the meantime, something terrible has happened.
What happened is described in Jer. 4 from verse 22 :
v.22. For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are sottish children, and they have none understanding : they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge. v.23. I beheld the earth and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light. V.24. I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled , and all the hills moved lightly. V.25. I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens have fled, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities were broken down at the presence of the Lord, and by His fierce anger. V.27. For thus hath the Lord said, the whole land shall be desolate; yet will I not make a full end.
This is repeated in Isaiah. 24 from verse 1 :
v.1. Behold the Lord maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof.
v.6. Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left.
What is interesting is that both the kings and angels were judged in this instance (see Isaiah 24:21). It is not inconceivable that the demons and fallen angels come from this era, as well as the Kings of the Earth, as the forces of darkness are known.
This destruction is confirmed by two other things.
Firstly we read in Hebr. 12:26 : Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. It is thus clear that He has previously shaken the heaven and earth simultaneously, and that is what Isaiah and Jeremiah refers to.
Secondly we also have the fossil record, continental drift, and the destruction of species at the end of the Permian era when 90% of all species became extinct.
Whether there were many such occurrences when God shook the earth and heavens simultaneously is unknown, but there were indeed many where only the earth was shaken.
At the end of this destruction we sit with the earth without form, and void, and without light, and that is where we will take up the history of the regeneration and replenishment of earth in Genesis 1:3