The Bible begins by telling us how God created the earth. But what was he doing before? God is eternal so surely the universe we live in is not the first of God’s works and it won’t be the last. Some people think Heaven will be boring because we will have nothing to do. In fact we will have plenty to do just learning what God has done in the past and observing what he does in the future. (I wonder if the words past and future will have any meaning. We live in time so for us some things have happened in the past and others are still in the future. Will this still be true in eternity?)
The Bible does reveal some things that happened before the earth was created.
Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell me, if you have understanding.
Who determined its measurements—surely you know!
Or who stretched the line upon it?
On what were its bases sunk,
or who laid its cornerstone,
when the morning stars sang together
and all the sons of God shouted for joy? (Job 38:4-7)
In the book of Job angels were called sons of God.
Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. (Job 1:6)
Apparently angels are sometimes called stars.
And the fifth angel blew his trumpet, and I saw a star fallen from heaven to earth, and he was given the key to the shaft of the bottomless pit. (Revelation 9:1)
So we know that the angels were created before the creation account of Genesis 1.
When God created Adam and Eve he knew they would sin and bring death into the world he had created. He knew that he would send his Son into the world to die as an atonement for their sins and he knew who would repent of their sins and put their faith in Jesus. He wrote their names in a book called the book of life and decreed that those whose names are in this book will not be deceived by Satan.
All who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain. (Revelation 13:8)
So we know two things God did before the creation of the earth. He created the angels and he wrote the names of those who will receive eternal life in the book of life.
The Bible tells of another event that might have happened before creation. God spoke these words to Satan.
You were an anointed guardian cherub.
I placed you; you were on the holy mountain of God;
in the midst of the stones of fire you walked.
You were blameless in your ways
from the day you were created,
till unrighteousness was found in you. (Ezekiel 28:14,15)
Satan was created good and given a position of authority. He chose to rebel against God and became evil. (Satan is often called a fallen angel; he is really a fallen cherub.) We know what happened but we don’t know when. When God finished creating the world he said that what he had made was very good. Some claim that this shows that Satan could not yet have fallen into sin, but all it says is that the things made during the previous six days were very good. It is possible that evil already existed.
Today God wants us to study what he has revealed to us in the Bible and put it into practice. If we devote ourselves to doing this we won’t have the time or the desire to speculate about what God did before creation. We will have plenty of time to learn about that in Heaven, when our work on earth is done.
Now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. (1 Corinthians 13:12)