Catechism 7: The Holy Spirits Work in Creation
The Holy Spirits Work in Creation
According to the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit was also involved in creation.
In the beginning God created heaven, and earth. And the earth was void and empty, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the spirit of God moved over the waters.
St. Ambrose: The Spirit fittingly moved over the earth, destined to bear fruit because by the aid of the Spirit it held the seeds of new birth which were to germinate according to the words of the prophet: “Send forth thy Spirit and they shall be created and thou shalt renew the face of the earth.”
St. Ephrem The Syrian: The Holy Spirit warmed the waters with a kind of vital warmth, even bringing them to a boil through intense heat in order to make them fertile. It was appropriate here that the Spirit hovered in order for us to learn that the work of creation was held in common by the Spirit with the Father and the Son.
We have seen in a previous Catechism lesson that Jesus Christ, the Son of God and second person of the Trinity, was involved with God the Father in the creation of everything.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him: and without him was made nothing that was made. (John 1:1–3).
Now, in Genesis 1:2, we see that the “Spirit of God” was also involved in creation.
The Hebrew word for “Spirit” is often translated as “wind” or “breath” in the Old Testament. The same word is found in Psalm 32:6, where we again catch a glimpse of the Spirit’s work in creation: “By the word of the Lord the heavens were established; and all the power of them by the spirit (in some translations breath) of his mouth: ”
The next verse of this psalm continues,”Gathering together the waters of the sea, as in a vessel; laying up the depths in storehouses. (Psalm 33:7). Certainly, this should remind us of how “the Spirit of God was moving over the waters” in Genesis 1:2.
If we look closer at the word “moving” we find that it conveys the idea of a bird, hovering and brooding over her eggs, caring for the new lives. The same Hebrew word is used to describe how “As the eagle enticing her young to fly, and hovering over them, he spread his wings, and hath taken him and carried him on his shoulders.” (Deuteronomy 32:11.)
What a beautiful picture of God preparing to bring life into the world through His Spirit! God designed all of creation for life. “His Spirit hath adorned the heavens, ” (Job 26:13), and they were designed with us in mind:
For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens, God himself that formed the earth, and made it, the very maker thereof: he did not create it in vain: he formed it to be inhabited. (Isaiah 45:18).
We should also note that Scripture describes a similar “hovering”, if you please, of the Holy Spirit in one of the greatest miracles of all time—the miraculous conception of Jesus Christ: “And the angel answering, said to her: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee (a type of hovering). And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35).