In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2The earth was without form [tohu] and void [bohu]. and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
This post will begin Matthew Henry’s 2nd Point: The work of creation in its embryo, or in its early stages of development. And this post will also explain why I gave the Hebrew words tohu and bohu when quoting this Scripture each time…
Clay Miller: The first matter was created and unfinished. God could have created it all in less than an instant…but He established things with His method. Creation is a great metaphor of the new creation of conversion. God gave us a great physical picture of a spiritual reality. Paul alludes to this in 2 Corinthians 4:6—“For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”Matthew Henry: “II. The work of creation in its embryo, v. 2, where we have an account of the first matter and the first mover.
1. A chaos was the first matter. It is here called the earth; it is also called the deep, both for its vastness and because the waters which were afterwards separated from the earth were now mixed with it. The Creator could have made His work perfect at first, but by this gradual proceeding He would show what is, ordinarily, the method of His providence and grace. Observe the description of this chaos. (1) There was nothing in it desirable to be seen, for it was without form and void. Tohu and bohu, confusion and emptiness; so these words are rendered…
But the pelican and the porcupine shall possess it, Also the owl and the raven shall dwell in it. And He shall stretch out over it The line of confusion [tohu]and the stones of emptiness [bohu].
To those who have their hearts in heaven, this lower world, in comparison with that upper, still appears to be nothing but confusion and emptiness. (2) If there had been anything desirable to be seen, yet there was no light to see it by; for darkness, thick darkness, was upon the face of the deep. This chaos represents the state of an unregenerate, graceless soul: there is disorder, confusion and every evil work; it is empty of all good, for it is without God; it is dark till almighty grace effects a blessed change.”
So our souls are like this chaotic and empty scene at the beginning of creation. Our souls are tohu and bohu, without form and void. Our lives are lives of confusion and emptiness. We try to fill that with all sorts of things, but only God can fill the void and make sense of existence. All other fillers are counterfeits and will fail us.