Back In the Beginning

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“So now, Father, glorify Me in Your presence with the glory I had with You before the world existed.”  John 17:5Back In the Beginning

Before the world existed, You, Jesus, were Everything.  Before the world was made, it was all about You.   Before the world was created—You.  Before the world was, You were.  It’s something how last night in youth group the message was on this same idea only from a different angle.  So, here we are again.

I want to go back, like last night, to You before the world existed.  And that takes me back to John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.”  And that takes me back to Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”  Because I think it’s more than about a beginning.  I think it points me back to the heart of You.

Well, I’m trying to grasp this like someone in a Hebrew mindset would see it.  And I’m not sure how well I’m doing that, Lord, but I’m praying You guide me and get me there.  And I’m caught by this little word again, this little word, “was.”  In Greek it’s the word “einai” which means “to exist.”  And I’m looking at this whole idea of who You were before the world existed.  But that’s looking at it through Greek or Roman eyes.  I want to look at it through Your eyes.

Before I go back to Genesis, I’m caught up at John 1 and the following verses.  “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  The same was in the beginning with God…In Him was life; and the life was the light of men…”  Now, what is my infatuation with “was”?  Well, the “was” in John 17:5 is expressed as “existed.”  These “wases” mean something totally different.  This is a different Greek word.  This “was” is more of a positional thing.  It’s about establishing the person of Jesus, of God.  It’s all about His Preeminence.  First, Jesus in everything.  Jesus together with God.  Jesus in God.  Jesus=God.  Preeminent=Jesus=God.  Life in Jesus.  Jesus=Life.  To be in Jesus is to be in Life.  Life=Light=Jesus.  No Jesus=no Light.  In Jesus I have Life and Light.  Nothing else matters.  It’s all that simple.  It’s all about being inside, within the operating Source.  It’s all about position and instumentality.  Everything starts and has it’s purpose in You.

See, in Genesis, God is the Beginning.  Before the world was, God was.  But part of me wants to take that was out today and just say, before the world was—God, or before the world, God.  And I want to narrow it down even more.  Preeminence=God.

The Hebrew word for “in the beginning is”reshiyth”.  According to Strong’s Concordance it means “the first, in place, time, order or rank (specifically a firstfruit): – beginning, chief (-est), first (-fruits, part, time), principal thing.”  And I’m not so sure that this is talking about a moment in time before things we know began as it is telling me who You are, who You always have been, and who You always will be.  First in Place, Time, Order, Rank=God.  You are.  It’s undeniable.  But am I demonstrating that truth with my life and actions and thoughts?

Now, You, the Beginning of Being, brought into being through You everything that now exists.  “And it was so.” (Genesis 1:30)  The Hebrew word is “haya” and means “to be, to become, to be manifest.”  Now, what was manifested?  Was light manifested?  Or was Your glory manifested in the light that came from in You?  Were animals manifested?  Or was Your glory manifested in the creativity that came from in You?  Was man manifested?  Or was Your glory manifested in the image You created for us to see in You?

Well in searching I found that Jehovah means “He causes to become.”  Which makes You, Jehovah, the Purposer.  When You tell Moses to tell the people, “I AM THAT I AM” it can be thought of as “I SHALL PROVE TO BE WHAT I SHALL PROVE TO BE.”  That’s because we don’t define You, You already self-designated Yourself.  “I WILL BE THAT I WILL BE.”  (Rotherham)  “I WILL BECOME WHATSOEVER I PLEASE” “I AM THE BEING.”  ” I AM THE EXISTING ONE.”  “I AM WHO I AM.”(thanks to Tears of Oberon from a web discussion)  It’s not just about Your existence but what You have purposed to become for others.  But it’s all who You are already and who You have been and who You will be.  It’s You.

It’s not about connecting things together.  It’s not about a sequence of events.  It’s all about a matter of being.   And it’s about a continual being, a continual process of being.  This little “was” isn’t just a little connecting word.  It matters.  It’s the difference between my saying “Jack Tucker my husband” and “Jack Tucker is my husband.”  The first is static; in that sentence, that is all he is and there is no more.  That’s the whole point of my sentence.  But the second is dynamic.  He is my husband but that is not all he is.  Spanish uses the verbs ser and estar to show this.  Ser is a permanent trait or characteristic, whereas estar/tener is a changing condition.  I am American versus I am hungry.  Yo soy Americano versus Yo tengo hambre.  I am not always hungry but I can’t change the fact of where I was born.

And this all brings me back to the beginning, “reshiyth.”  I want to hop to Isaiah 46:9,10.  “…I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure…'”  It was ALL IN You from forever.  Everything has always been wrapped up in You.

Skip Moen shared this about verse 10.  “God does not declare the beginning from the end.  He declares the end from the beginning.  Reshiyth, the Hebrew word for beginning, is also a word that means first, foremost, best, and chief.  With a preposition added, it is the first word of the Bible (‘in the beginning’).  It is the start of something.  Of course, the start is important.  But God seems to be focused on something else.  God sets His sights on the end…Where we start is far less consequential than where we end.  How the world began is not nearly as critical as how the world will end.  The purpose of something is more important than the cause.  In every sense, God is eschatalogical.  ‘Eschatological” means that the standard for measurement does not lie in the past (where things began) nor in the present (where things are) but in the future.  God is vitally interested in how things will be.  And He calls every one of His followers to live according to a standard that is based in how things will be, not in how things were, or how things are.”

Well, Lord, You do and You have and You always will prove Yourself just through being You.  But will I let You prove Yourself in me?  I mean, after my death, You’ll be proved, but will I let You prove Yourself in my life every day?  Does my life =Jesus?  Does my everything=Jesus?  Are You my Beginning, Middle, and End?

I almost disagreed with Skip because the beginning does matter.  Who I am rooted in means everything to my walk.  But if yesterday I was rooted in You, and today I’m rooted in You, but tomorrow I fall away, I get his point.  I need to keep You as tightly as You keep me.  I need to stay in You.  In the beginning-You.  You had it all mapped out because You=The Map.  I need to start in You, I need to continue in You, and I need to finish in You.  You are my Completeness.  You are the Static in my life that I need but You are also the Dynamic in my life that brings about the changes in me that bring me to You.

I can hear You speak Your words through Jeremiah, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.  Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will hear you.  You will seek Me and find Me, when you seek Me with all your heart.  I will be found by you,  and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.”  Now, take this into the context of “in the beginning.”  You just restated Genesis 1 to the people and to us through Jeremiah. Jehovah=Jesus=Firstfruit=Purposer=Everything=Map, already purposed things out for us.  And the whole purpose is to bring us back to where we were cast out.  Where were we cast out of?  Your presence.  It’s not just about a land.  The land is the representation of You, of being in You.  You are the Land I want to live in.  Jerusalem represents living in You.  You want to finish us by taking us back to the beginning, or rather, back to the Beginning, back to You.  You want me back in You.  And that is everything that I am coming to want.  You are my Fortune.  You drove me out because of my sin so that I could realize Who I was missing.  I am incomplete outside of You.  Thank You for bringing me back to the Beginning, or really, back in the Beginning!

 

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