17 July 2020
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God” (John1:1-2).
‘In the beginning’ brings us back to Genesis 1. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters” (Gen. 1:1-2).
Notice that the Word (Jesus Christ) was in the beginning with God. Note also that the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters in the beginning: we see the triune God at the very beginning – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
The term ‘beginning’ may come through to us that God has a beginning as we understand it in our human context in the use of this term. That is not the meaning of this communication.
In fact it brings us into the realm of the eternal: it emphasises the absolute being of God, who is both infinite, self-sufficient and self-existent. God is, in other words, uncaused and uncreated, never needing to be created because He always was, and without any capacity or possibility ever not to be. He is the great “I am”, the eternal One, who possesses the ground of existence in Himself (Psalm 90:2; Isaiah 40:28).
He is the ground and first cause of all things, and it is only through Him that all things exist, including ourselves (Romans 11:36). All things were created by Him (Rev. 4:11) and are therefore dependent on Him for their existence. He Himself gives all men life and breath and everything else (Acts 17:25). In Him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28; Daniel 5:23).
God exists in a different way from His creatures. We exist in a dependent, derived, finite, fragile way, but our Maker exists in an eternal, self-sustaining, necessary way – in the sense that God does not have it in Him to go out of existence, just as we do not have it in us to live for ever. We necessarily age and die; God necessarily continues for ever unchanged, because it is HIs eternal nature to do so.
During this current viral pandemic, this reality comes through in a very vivid way. As patients struggle to have breath in the ICU with the ventilators, the reality that breath may be taken away from them in a moment is ever so real. I recall my own experience some 40 years ago when I was in the ICU with shortness of breath and the possible diagnosis of Myocarditis caused by a virus, the night in the ICU was ‘peppered’ with several patients collapsing and the medical staff trying vigorously to resuscitate them. In the midst of this, I thank God for reminding me of my finiteness and the need to just ‘rest’ in Him and leave everything to HIm, even in the midst of struggling to breathe.
When God allowed me to return to the wards subsequently, I recall hearing the beautiful ‘singing’ of the birds at the open windows and I was thankful to God for allowing me to recover and to praise Him.
Such an experience truly helps me to realise the transcendence and eternal ‘nature’ of God and the definite need to depend on Him for our very lives and existence. It gives an impetus to make our moments count for God, for our very breath is in His hands.
There are no events in this world that are not directed by His hand in accordance with His pleasure and will (Eph. 1:5) and there are no ‘accidents’ that reside outside His control (Matt. 10:29). He is self- governing and without obligations to His creatures and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back His hand and His will is irresistible (Rom. 9:19). As we meditate on these, let us bow in Worship and Adoration for He alone is God and there is none other.