Question: If God created the universe, what existed before God, or was He just alone, surrounded by nothing?
Science and the Bible agree: the universe had a beginning. Popular scientific theory calls it “the Big Bang,” where eternally existing matter and energy expanded from a super-heated black hole to the universe we know today. According to this, there was no “before” the Big Bang because time did not yet exist.
The Bible actually agrees—up to a point—with this scenario:
Gen. 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
“The beginning”—time, as we experience it—had a beginning. Likewise, ”the heavens and the earth”—the universe of matter and energy—also had a beginning, by God’s design and command. The Bible, however, declares that there was a “before” time and a cause behind all matter and energy. That “cause” is God Himself, who brought all things into being through His eternal Son, Jesus Christ, in cooperation with the Holy Spirit.
John 1:1-3, 14 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (2) He was with God in the beginning. (3) Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. …(14)The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us….
This passage tells us that Jesus pre-existed creation. He “was God,” and He “was with God in the beginning.” God created all that exists through Jesus, as it says in verse three. Then Jesus entered His own creation as a man (v. 14). Throughout Scripture God is described as one Spirit Being who is by nature a plurality of persons: the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This plurality is reflected in the creation of Adam and Eve:
Gen. 1:26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness…
Humanity—male and female—in the limited physical realm reflects the plurality of God in the spiritual realm: three persons in one Being.
Before creation God existed eternally, but He was never alone; and creation reflects His nature. Just as a work of art reflects the imagination and skill of the artist, even revealing much of the artist’s personality and values, so creation reflects who God is and what He values most:
Rom. 1:20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
Throughout eternity past God enjoyed perfect love: the wonder and beauty of deep, intimate relationship—Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The creation of a universe rich in relationships, community and, especially on the human level, interpersonal love that sometimes even reaches the pinnacle of putting the interests of others above our own, reflects what God has experienced perfectly for all eternity. We love because God is love, for we are created in His image.
Cor. 13:14 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.