Bible Society of South Africa

Beginning and End – 5 October 2020

By Ben Fourie

Bible text(s)

8“I am the first and the last,” says the Lord God Almighty, who is, who was, and who is to come.

Revelation 1:8GNBOpen in Bible reader

6And he said, “It is done! I am the first and the last, the beginning and the end. To anyone who is thirsty I will give the right to drink from the spring of the water of life without paying for it.

Revelation 21:6GNBOpen in Bible reader

As a student, the Greek language to me was just that – Greek. In Prieska where I grew up, we could hardly speak English and had not even heard of Greek. I still remember how proud I was when I finally succeeded in reading and writing the Greek alphabet and knowing the meaning of the symbols alpha and omega. In the little yellow grammar book of Professor van Rensburg, the first and last letter of the Greek alphabet were just letters, but when we read about the Alpha and the Omega in Revelation, it becomes so much more.

This idea of the Alpha and Omega comprises the sum total of the power of Jesus, his omnipresence in history, the future and eternity. If we were able to look as far back as the very moment of creation, we would see him there. If we were able to look into eternity, he would be there. In him and through him, space and time become meaningful. When we look into the almost incomprehensible, distant past of the Alpha, and into the even more difficult concept of eternity, the Omega, where does it leave us?

When I think about the great mystery that is God, I sometimes become terrified because I know and understand so little about it. It is then that these two verses become very important. In Revelation 1:8, Jesus not only tells us that he is the one who was and who is to come again, but also that He is the One “who is”. In these words, I also hear the Lord’s voice when he told Moses, “I am what I am.” Jesus is present in my world today, he is active through the Holy Spirit. He wants to give us the water from the spring of life right now. Although he is the infinitely great Being, he is the same Jesus who said, “Let the children come to me, and do not stop them, because the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”

Prayer: It is so wonderful to know that you are not so far away and so inaccessible that you cannot spare time for me as one of your little children. Amen

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