Skip to content

Word Study: Formless and Void

dove_broodingI was praying for someone needing salvation and healing and was led to pray Genesis 1:2. Since that time, I have found many circumstances relating to friends, family, and in needs in general, to again pray this “crafted prayer” over their lives and situations. During the Financial Market’s initial turmoil on August 4, this was my prayer along with Proverbs 3:5,6. On August 5, when I did my study on Isaiah 54:2, again it cropped up.

I have begun to open my heart to hear what’s on Father’s heart for daily prayer. There were many individuals and families on my heart. In my journal, I wrote, “Lord, how can I pray? What are the key components or elements? Are there key resources, truths I need to know? You LOVE family! You LOVE order established in chaos.” I immediately thought of Genesis 1:2-4 again and applied it to these families… particularly those who have combined families/generations living in their homes. It was on this day that I felt I really need to dive into the deeper meaning as I have found these scripture verses to be a great declarative prayer.

2 The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. 3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. [NASB]

Margin Notes
“formless” literal meaning is “a waste and emptiness.”
“surface” literal meaning is “face of”
“moving over” literal meaning is “hovering”

Strong’s formless #8414 tohuw

  • to lie in waste, a desolation, desert; a worthless thing (figurative) – confusion, empty place, without form, nothing, vain, vanity, waste, wilderness.
  • the word represents chaos, confusion, and disorder. All things that are opposed to the organization, direction, and order that God has demonstrated.

My Thoughts
When I saw the word “desert,” I immediately applied my favorite verse for trials, Psalms 84:6, “THROUGH the Valley of Baca (weeping) TO the place of springs.” I was stunned to see the words “vain” and “vanity” and immediately saw pride as an issue. Although I won’t debate it, many believe that Genesis 1:1 was the original creation when Lucifer was still the “cherub who covered” and Genesis 1:2 is after Lucifer’s prideful rebellion and fall. When I saw “wilderness,” I immediately thought of “testing.” (ex. Israel’s 40 years, Jesus after baptism, Paul in Arabia) When I saw “chaos, confusion, and disorder,” I immediately thought of satan as the author of confusion. The note in Strong’s about being opposed to God’s organization, direction and order, was a further confirmation of the Lord’s answer to my prayer for order.

Strong’s void #922 bohuw

  • to be empty, a vacuity, i.e. (superficially) an undistinguishable ruin
  • emptiness, void

Dictionary.com for vacuity
1.The state of being vacuous or without contents; vacancy;emptiness
2. Absence of thought or intelligence; inanity; blankness
3. A time or state of dullness, lacking in mental or physical action or productivity
4. An empty space; void
5. Absence or lack of something specified: a vacuity of feeling.
6. Something inane, senseless, or stupid
7. A vaccum

My Thoughts
I immediately thought of Ephesians 1:22,23 where it speaks of Jesus, Who fills all in all. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

Strong’s darkness #2822 chosek

  • the dark, hence (literally) darkness; (figurative) misery, destruction, death, ignorance, sorrow, wickedness
  • dark, night, obscurity
  • “first occurrence is associated with disorder (Gen. 1:2)” [BUT!]
  • “subsequent uses represent confusion and uncertainty.”
  • “God brings His people out of desperate situations (Ps 107:10, 14; Mic 7:8)… gives insight and freedom (Is 29:18, 42:7)”

My Thoughts
My eyes riveted to darkness’ meaning as misery, death, sorrow, and disorder. I thought Strong’s note on the first and subsequent uses was really interesting in relation to verse 3 where God said, “Let there be light.” Once He spoke light, there was no excuse for darkness except through evil from outside sources or sin (actual sin, doubt, unbelief, rejection of truth) in inside sources. The accompanying scripture references in the Strong’s definition on darkness were neat.

Psalm 107:10, 13,14 “There were those who dwelt in darkness and in the shadow of death, Prisoners in misery and chains… 13 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble; He saved them out of their distresses. 14 He brought them out of darkness, and the shadow of death, And broke their bands apart.”

[When I read this word, I immediately heard “fast to break the chains.” And so, I was obedient and began a fast for these 5 families that lasted until after Wednesday night prayer.]

Micah 7:8 “But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me. 8 Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy. Though I fall I will rise; Though I dwell in darkness, the Lord is a light for me.”

[That declaration that the Lord is a light for Micah dovetails right in to the next verse where God said, “Let there be light.”!]

Strong’sface/surface  #6440 paniym (plural, but always used as singular)

  • the face (as the part that turns)
  • Although the literal meaning of face is possible, most of the time this word occurs in a figurative, idiomatic phrase.
  • Face can be a substitute for the entire person; or it can be a reflection of the person’s mood or attitude: ruthless,
  • joyful, humiliated, terrified, displeased.
  • It is also used to indicate direction; or purpose.
  • It also designates the top or surface of something; the ground or water.
  • It also connotes the front of something like a pot, or an army.

My Thoughts
This word, face, reminds me of God’s favor and blessing as He looks upon me. I recall the priestly blessing the Levites were commanded to bless the people with…  “The Lord bless you, and keep you; The Lord make His face shine on you. And be gracious to you, And give you peace. So they shall invoke My name…” Num 6:25-27

Strong’s deep #8415 tehowm

  • an abyss (as a surging mass of water), especially the deep (the main sea or the subterranean water-supply)
  • deep (place), depth

My Thoughts
When I saw the definition of deep as an abyss, I immediately thought of the enemy and his abode…. Utter chaos, darkness and death. How fitting with the other words for formless and void.

Strong’s Spirit #7307 Ruwach

  • wind, breath
  • inspires the prophets
  • imparts gifts (Ex 31:3, 35:31) skill and ability in all kinds of works… including the skill to teach others
  • the Spirit hovers over the deep and imparts life to persons
  • the life force of humans and animals

My Thoughts
Whenever I hear the word, “ruwach,” spoken out loud, I always think of the roar of the Lion of Judah. THE BREATH of life, majesty, power, and authority… His Kingdom. I only took the key points from Strong’s. I have prayed for Exodus’ Bezalel anointing for over 15 years especially in the office, once it became a rhema word to me.

Strong’s moving #7363 rachaph

  • to brood
  • (by implication) to be relaxed
  • flutter, move, shake

My Thoughts

  • Funny, I never think of the Lord as being in a hurry to do anything. Time is on His side! He is limitless time!

I love this Hebrew meaning and would have preferred “brooding” or “hovering” rather than moving. To me it shows purpose, great thought, assurance, compassion, love, and peace above all. It also fills me with great comfort as I know my place in God, His love, His compassion, and His plan.

  • I like the companion verses as well.

Deu 32:11 “Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, That hovers over its young, He spread His wings and caught them, He carried them on His pinions.”

Is 31:5 “Like flying birds so the Lord of hosts will protect Jerusalem. He will protect and deliver it; He will pass over and rescue it.” [Jesus, our Passover Lamb that was slain.]

Matthew 23:37  “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling.”

I absolutely loved the implication “to be relaxed”… no sweat! Remember after the fall that Adam would work with the sweat of his brow. Here again, it’s that over-riding peace that comes when Holy Spirit broods over me in times of stress when I’ve given the issue over to Him…. That’s a key… trusting in patience, relaxing in His awesome power over the issue I personally am “brooding” on… J

Strong’s light #216 ‘owr

  • to be luminous (in every sense, including lightning, happiness, etc.)
  • bright, clear, light, morning, sun
  • It is used primarily to refer to light from heavenly bodies, but also for light itself.
  • “The pillar of fire was a light for the wandering Israelites. One day God, who is clothed with light (a manifestation of His splendor), will replace the light of the heavens with His own light. Light is always used as a positive symbol, such as for good fortune; victory; justice and righteousness; guidance; and a bearer of deliverance.”
  • “Expressions involving light include the light of one’s face, meaning someone’s favor; to see light, meaning to live; and to walk in the light, meaning to live by God’s known standards.”

My Thoughts

  • No wonder this is the first thing God spoke! Light is the absolute opposite “order” to overpower disorder, formless, void, darkness… the antithesis!

I often think of God’s Shekinah glory as this light. His Spirit ruwach/breath spoke LIGHT! What a tremendous concept to fathom… the essence of His glory, full being in the power of a word and declaration… to VOID the darkness and void!

  • At this point, I had a real urge to look up the New Testament/Greek meaning of light.

Strong’s #5457 phos

  • to shine or make manifest, esp. by rays
  • in the widest application: FIRELIGHT!

Isn’t that “firelight” cool??? Goes right back to the pillar of fire, the sevenfold spirit of God, the Lampstand.

Other Scriptures I looked up on light today…

Isaiah 9:2, 4 The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; Those who live in a dark land, The light will shine on them… 4 For You shall break the yoke of their burden and the staff on their shoulders, The rod of their oppressor…

John 1:4,5 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. [That word, comprehend, is literally “overpower”!]

1 John 1:5b, 6,7 God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

Strong’s truth #225 alethia
– truth, truly, verity
– “In NT especially, divine truth or the faith and practice of the true religion is called “truth” either in being true in itself and derived from the true God, or as declaring the existence and will of the one true god, in opposition to the worship of false idols.”

John 8:12
… I am the light of the world, he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.

John 12:46
I have come as light into the world, that everyone who believes in Me may not remain in darkness.

Isaiah 60:1-3
1 “Arise, shine; for your light has come, And the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.
2 “For behold, darkness will cover the earth And deep darkness the peoples;
But the LORD will rise upon you And His glory will appear upon you.
3 “Nations will come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising.

Strong’s  good #2896 towb

  • good, pleasant, agreeable / pleasant, agreeable (to the senses), pleasant (to the higher nature); good, excellent (of its kind), good, rich, valuable in estimation; good, appropriate, becoming; better (comparative); glad, happy, prosperous (of man’s sensuous nature); good understanding (of man’s intellectual nature); good, kind, benign; good, right (ethical)
  • good thing, benefit, welfare / welfare, prosperity, happiness; good things (collective); benefit; moral good
  • An adjective meaning good, well-pleasing, fruitful, morally correct, proper, convenient. “The creation narrative of Genesis 1 best embodies all these various elements of meaning when the Lord declares each aspect of His handiwork to be ‘good’.”

My Thoughts
Everything about this word, good, sums up my God. I immediately thought of the Lord’s words to Moses when he asked to see God’s face. The Lord protected him from the power of His glory (light) by placing him in the cleft of the rock while He permitted Moses to see His back, agreeing, “I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the Lord before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.” Ex 33:19 “Goodness” is the same word as “good” in Genesis 1.

Strong’s separated #914 badal

  • to divide, separate, distinguish, differ, select
  • in the passive sense, it indicates those being set apart for something. In a negative sense, being excluded from something.
  • According to Strong’s, the most famous example is Genesis 1:4 “…as God produces a separation between light and darkness. Just as significant is the distinction He makes between His people Israel and the peoples and nations surrounding them… This word indicates a sharp distinction between the holy and unholy (profane) and the clean and unclean.”

My Thoughts

When typing the definition for separated, the words “double-minded” (James 1:8) and the phrase “halting between two opinions” (1K 18:21) came to mind. Our double-edged sword (Eph 6:17;Rev 2:12), which is the Word, separates, cuts asunder. (Abram and Lot in Gen 13:9-14) There is a right and there is a wrong. No compromise. Today’s world encourages tolerance, making peace to not make waves. KJV says it best…  Be ye separate. (2 Cor 6:17) And I kept hearing “I will make a distinction between Israel and Egypt” regarding the 10 plagues and the 7 that didn’t affect Goshen/Israel from Ex 9:4 and Ex 11:7. Today, as I typed this up, Chuck Pierce, of Glory of Zion, Int’l. sent out this word from late July and I thought it was very appropriate!

A Key Prophecy!

“You will have a new place to stand.  However, do not rush to establish your footing. In this new place, many changes will take place, so be willing to root and then be re-rooted. I am beginning to light your spirit within you in a new way.  The seven -fold spirit within you is now being rekindled and brought to life so that we will become one with My Lamp Stand.  You and I will become one in covenant alignment this season.  We will begin to burn brightly as we move forward.  The world will see the seven-fold Spirit that I have in the earth. This Spirit is beginning to burn again. Hell will not be able to put that fire out.  Many who are standing now will come alive and burn again.  Though you stopped and stalled in last season, you will advance in a way this season that you have not advanced before. I have one that builds and one that establishes.  Then I have one that watches and keeps.  Let me help you find your place this hour. Let me help you get established, for I am transplanting many from one garden to another garden. I am causing some seed to grow that did not grow last season. I am plowing new furrows, breaking old soil, but creating new fields. I will grow a troop for this season. This is the troop that begins to move and advance in a new way.

Choose the lamp stand this month. Be the lampstand. Choose now and you will shine brightly throughout your entire future. Of the seven fold aspects of burning, you have to only be half lit. Let Me light you and make you bright. I need a flame. I see you! Do not get upset, when I clear away some of the rust and debris that has caused portions of your light to grow dim. I love you and I light you!”