Now the earth was formless and empty. Darkness was on the surface of the deep. God’s Spirit was hovering over the surface of the waters.
It can be a little hard to understand this verse because it describes things we don’t see now. Fortunately, science has made some of these things easier to explain in modern language. When we were born, our world had form and was full of life, but at this point in God’s creating effort, things were very different.
When it says here that the “earth” was formless and empty, it sounds to me like the “earth” wasn’t even a planet yet. It sounds like all there was in the universe was darkness and matter. This should sound very familiar to scientists. This cold, darkness and matter is what you would expect to find when the matter is void of useful energy.
Then we find out where all the energy came from. The Holy Spirit “hovered” over the waters. It is very interesting to realize that the Holy Spirit gives power to the physical world. Everything that has any energy in it had its beginning in the Holy Spirit. Raising a single person from the dead or causing a virgin to give birth is really not a difficult task for the one who powered the whole universe.
Science and Theology: I want to take a minute to say that the idea that there is a gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 is not a good one. The text itself doesn’t suggest it any more
than it suggests gaps elsewhere in the text. This concept is usually added by those who believe that physical evidence requires a gap somewhere to support it. It is important, however, that we not attempt to bring man’s fallible ideas to the text. We should allow our Creator to speak to us and teach us how things really happened since He was there. My guess is that science is still quite a ways behind this text and to believe that the evidence suggests something different than the text could easily be explained by problems in modern science. Remember that science textbooks have to be changed frequently to accommodate new information. The Bible has never had to change.