Question:

Where was God before He created the heavens and the earth?

Answer:

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:2).

In this simple statement is many implications. Since it was "in the beginning," it is implied that time did not exist before this. So thus, time was created at this point.

The word "heavens" means "expanse" and the Bible uses it to refer to three different expanses: 1) It can refer to the region where birds fly, which we call the sky or the atmosphere (Jeremiah 4:24). 2) It can refer to the region occupied by the planets and stars, which we call outer space (Isaiah 13:10). 3) And it can refer to the region where God dwells and has His throne (Hebrews 9:24). That is why you find Paul mentioning a man caught up into the third heaven (II Corinthians 12:2), he is referring to going to where God dwells.

If we understand that God created the heavens refers to the first two realms, the sky and outer space, then we see that God also created the concept of space (or dimensions) at this point.

He also created the earth, but the next verse mentions it was without form, so we know that "earth" isn't referring to the planet. It is suggested that it is referring to matter in general before God formed it into various things.

The word "create" means to make something from nothing or to make something that has never existed before. It is a word which only applies to God. So in this first verse God has created times, space, and matter -- the foundational building blocks of our universe.

There is nothing implied in this verse that God necessarily created His own home (the third heaven) at the same time.

"For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: "I dwell in the high and holy place, ..." (Isaiah 57:15).