Before anything at all existed, there was God, and there was, within that God, love. That God made the universe not out of anything already existing but out of nothing. He was the only something, and when He spoke, something else that was not Him began to exist. That means that this world we live in is a wanted world, a loved world.
God created the universe ex nihilo, out of nothing.
The idea that God created the universe out of nothing shouldn’t be controversial, because at one point in time, there was literally nothing else except God in existence.
No, wait a sec. “At one point in time”. . . that’s not going to work. Because time didn’t exist either. Nothing was the only thing that existed.
Oh, hang on . . . that sounds a bit like nothing is a thing. . . . My point is that before the universe was brought into being, and before God created the “heavenly host” of divine non-human beings (more on them another time), all that existed was God. There was nothing else. And when I say “nothing,” I don’t mean “empty space,” like the air in the middle of a ring doughnut, or the contents of my wallet if I take my daughter to Disney World; I mean nothing. No thing.
Long before the universe was brought into being, and the heavenly host were brought into existence, nothing existed. Just God.
That is the profound level of nothingness that existed, or rather, didn’t exist.
Aristotle says that “Nothing is what rocks dream about.” Ah, we clever people say, but rocks don’t dream! “Exactly,” says Aristotle.
Other ancient Near Eastern creation stories (for example, those from Mesopotamia or Egypt) feature gods who create things out of material that was already in existence—in much the same way as you and I create things.
But when the living God created the universe, He created it ex nihilo, out of nothing.
There are other ideas about how the universe came into being, of course. Advocates of the Big Bang theory, for example, also believe in the universe coming into being ex nihilo, out of nothing, or at least out of an incredibly dense singularity which itself originated ultimately from nothing.