Alpha and Omega
Revelation 1:8 NKJV
Isaiah 44:6 NKJV
Revelation 22:12-13 NKJV
From the Beginning
While God is beginning and end, we also know God is eternal, so that indicates the terms mean more than a description of time. Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the Ancient Greek alphabet. In descriptive terms, the early Greek alphabet is the beginning and end of their way to communicate, describe, and our understand each other. After all, an alphabet helps us understand and interpret.
In his revelation John is telling us that from the beginning to the end of all we know, God is.
In Revelation 1:8, John wrote about what he saw and heard. Jesus-God said, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
The terms and words used by John in the Revelation of Jesus are not new to scripture. In Isaiah 44:6, the Prophet saw and heard the same words. The prophet’s words spoken by the Lord say, “Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: ‘I am the First and I am the Last; besides Me there is no God.”
Today, we often speak of little ‘g’ gods in terms of daily tasks and troubles that consume our time and attention. It is true that at different times in our lives we can be overtaken by the details of life. I know when my children were small, I had very little time to pray at all. I remember when I did pray, my four children would sit on the other side of the door and my daughter would ‘hush’ the boys and say, “Shhh…Mom’s praying.”
In a house filled with four children born in seven years time, there is no silence.
There is very little peace.
Life was crazy.
This week one of my sons described the very same scenario in his life. It reminded me what life was like when my children were small. With four children (three boys), there was a lot of shoving and punching going on throughout the day. I know women who had a houseful of girls and while the squabbles didn’t usually involve physical activity, there was a lot of verbal punching and shoving.
Yes, life can be crazy.
In Isaiah the Lord was telling the prophet there really aren’t any other gods. No little ‘g’ gods. We may feel consumed by life’s craziness from time to time, but God is THE only God.
God started it all and will have the last word.
God IS in charge.
God is IN charge.
I find that very comforting.
The God we love and serve spoke the first letter and word and God will speak the last letter and word.
I am not in charge.
You are not in charge.
Selah is a word in Hebrew that can mean a pause in the music or a ‘rest’ in the Psalm. It can also describe a blessing meaning forever (https://www.yourdictionary.com/selah), Selah.
Near the end of John’s revelation in Revelation 22:12-13, he saw and heard, “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.”
Many people have interpreted ‘coming quickly’ in terms of today and tomorrow. We need to understand that in our American culture we view time as linear that has a definite beginning and an end. When we go to school or work we often have deadlines. We are often taught to set goals and meet those goals.
Western cultures would normally pick up on the words ‘quickly’ and receiving ‘rewards’ in terms of a goal.
Eastern Cultures view time as cyclical or endless. They are often more focused on carefully doing things right while they maintain harmony. To them coming quickly could mean in an instant. They would be inclined to not have a deadline for when it happens. They don’t have a goal in terms of when it gets done. Their thoughts would focus on the harmony of that moment.
The first time I was introduced to Communication and Culture I was in college at the University of Missouri, Columbia, I was fascinated by the thought of how different cultures view the same events (and words) in various ways.
Now, as I study scripture I attempt to be mindful of my thoughts embraced by my culture and I try to view the same scripture as it would be seen by someone who lives halfway around the world. Just this week, I noticed that someone from Africa read the Bible Study from the blog.
I was reminded I need to be aware of perspectives when interpreting scripture. John could be saying the Lord will come in an instant whenever it happens. He could mean that the reward is complete harmony with God.
Ultimately as we embrace with comfort the thought that our Lord IS beginning and end and everything eternal, we gain a sense of the whole plan God created for all of us.
We KNOW that…God is the First and Last. We know God is eternal.
God is in harmony with everything.
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: Harmony
Receive the harmony of the Alpha and the Omega God.
In Jesus, Deborah