The original chaos was not evil; God created it. In fact, God called the “Seas” and even the “great sea monsters” “good” (Gen 1:10, 21). But after the fall into sin and God’s curse on creation, “chaos” took on evil connotations. God banished our ancestors from Paradise (cosmos) and sent them “east of Eden” where they would have to cope with many forms of chaos: enmity with Satan and his demons, pain, thorns and thistles, and finally death (Gen 3:14–19).
In my forthcoming book, From Chaos to Cosmos: Creation to New Creation, I trace the chaos – cosmos theme from Genesis 1 to Revelation 22. Genesis 1:1 reads, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth,” that is the cosmos: “The world or universe regarded as an orderly, harmonious system” (Webster). Genesis 1:2 backs up to the earliest stage in God’s creation of the earth, “The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” These five italicized words describe the primeval chaos. These words will be used in later Scriptures either individually or in combination to refer to some form of chaos. Genesis 1 adds two more words that refer to chaos: verse 10, “seas” and verse 21, “great sea creatures/monsters.” A few more words and synonyms will be added later in Scripture to allude to conditions of chaos.
This original chaos was not evil; God created it. In fact, God called the “Seas” and even the “great sea monsters” “good” (Gen 1:10, 21). But after the fall into sin and God’s curse on creation, “chaos” took on evil connotations. God banished our ancestors from Paradise (cosmos) and sent them “east of Eden” where they would have to cope with many forms of chaos: enmity with Satan and his demons, pain, thorns and thistles, and finally death (Gen 3:14–19).
The New Testament uses some of these same words for chaos but it focuses especially on the contrast between darkness and light and centers the chaos – cosmos theme primarily in the battle between Satan, the Prince of Darkness, and Jesus, “the light of the world” (John 8:12; 9:5). In tracing the chaos-cosmos theme through the Scriptures, I was amazed at how it provided a deeper understanding of familiar Gospel narratives.
Jesus Rebuked Unclean Spirits and Cast Them Out
For example, according to Mark, Jesus began his ministry by proclaiming, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15). To demonstrate how near the kingdom of God, cosmos, had come with the coming of Jesus, Mark relates what happened when Jesus was teaching in the synagogue of Capernaum. “And immediately there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit [chaos]. And he cried out, ‘What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God.’ But Jesus rebuked him, saying, ‘Be silent, and come out of him!’ And the unclean spirit [chaos], convulsing him and crying out with a loud voice, came out of him [cosmos]. And they were all amazed…” (Mark 1:23–27).
Later a father brought his son so that Jesus could heal him from an unclean spirit that “often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him [chaos]…. And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, ‘You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.’ And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, ‘He is dead[chaos].’ But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose [cosmos]” (Mark 9:22, 25–27).