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  • Writer's pictureRichard A. Jones

Alpha and Omega

The Alpha and Omega

Over the years, many people have said to me, “the Bible contradicts itself.” And I tell them, “Of course it does. If it didn’t, I wouldn’t believe it.” You see, the Bible is not some idealistic little fairy tale where good guys and bad guys are easily identified, and everybody lives happily ever after.

Instead, the Bible tells of great joy existing in the midst of bone crushing grief, and loyalty standing side by side with betrayal.

It says that God is good, and yet, he allows the good to suffer and the wicked to prosper.…It is about a God who loves us, but who at times seems nowhere to be found and doesn’t seem to care….It is about a God who hides, and yet desires to be known.

It is a story where a prostitute becomes a hero, and one of its heroes sleeps with his neighbors wife and tries to have her husband killed.

It tells of beggars, thieves, and social outcasts who know God, and religious leaders, Bible scholars, church goers, and praying people, who don’t.

The Bible contradicts itself because people contradict themselves. It reveals a mysterious God because he is beyond our theories, theologies and doctrines about him. And Instead of covering this up and pretending, Scripture tells the truth about real people and the true God.

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In last week’s post, I spoke of the warp and woof threads of Scripture. The warp threads are the long threads, the themes that compose the main story line of God’s eternal and unchanging purpose.

For me, the very fact that these themes weave their way through the Bible, spanning the writings of 35 authors over 1500 years, bears witness to God’s inspiration.

I believe that it is in the first three chapters of Genesis, the Biblical story of creation, that the long threads of Scripture are anchored.


In my next few posts, I want to look into the creation story of Genesis and the three basic questions that I think it addresses: Who is God? Who are we? What is the meaning of life on earth?

Let me say at the outset, I don’t think that the Genesis creation story is a literal account of a seven day creation, with trees that had moral significance, a man made from mud, a woman made from a rib, and a snake that spoke and walked on legs.

This is a story too big to be told literally. In fact to make Genesis literal, I believe, actually obscures its truth. It is not a story about how God created, but rather what and why God created.

I think that the truth of life and God are hidden in the imagery of the Genesis creation story as seeds or embryos. It gives us a look into what God intended life on earth to be and to become.

When speaking of God, I will be using the male pronoun he. This is not because I think that God is male, but because this is the term the Bible uses and it is the way that many languages have developed. This in no way is to imply man’s superiority over woman.

Who is this God of whom the Bible speaks?

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God is

In the beginning God……The Bible never tries to prove God. This is because every belief (scientific, philosophical, or religious) has to have a starting point, a basic assumption.

Science can no more prove where the material that formed the universe came from, than I can prove where God came from. Neither Science nor the Bible can go back far enough, because every story has to have an “In the beginning……"

In the third chapter of Exodus, when Moses was sent to Israel, he asked God, Who shall I say has sent me.” God’s answer: “I am that I am….Tell them ‘I am’ has sent you to them”

Scripture presents God as the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last, the uncaused causer, who is not only to everlasting, but also from everlasting.

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God is Good

Genesis 1:31, God saw all that he had made and it was very good.

What God created was not good because it conformed to some principle of goodness that was outside God. It was good because God is good and he created it. God defines good. Scripture tells us that love and goodness are at the center of God’s nature and character.

I believe that in the Bible (and in much current thought), God is blamed for many things that he did not do. The Bible says that God, through Samuel, told Saul to kill every man, woman, child, infant, and animal of the Amalekites.

In our time God is blamed for people being murdered, children starving, and wars ravaging. People often use all kinds of personal experience and Bible verses to account for these things.


Some say “If there is a good and loving God, why did such and such happen.” Others try to justify God by saying, “God did this bad thing so that he could bring about a good thing.”

Still others look at evil head on and attribute it to God’s sovereignty. A couple who are friends of mine had a son that died. Many Christians offered their trite cliches: “It must have been God’s will.” ”Well, we know it had to be for the best.” One person even said, “God must have known that he would grow up to be an alcoholic of worse.”

And at the same time they would have them turn to God for comfort, as if, so to speak, God was playing both sides of the chess board. My friend rightly said to me, “That’s like God hitting me in the stomach and then asking me if I’m o.k.”

The Greek philosopher Epicurus rejected the idea of an omnipotent and good God based on the following argument:

If God is unable to prevent evil, then he is not all-powerful.

If God is not willing to prevent evil, then he is not all-good.

If God is both willing and able to prevent evil, then why does evil exist?

Personally, I don’t buy any of these theories. I believe that God is good, and If something is not good, then God has not done it. (More about this in future post)

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God Creates

Why did God create this world? Why did God create anything at all? It may be difficult for us to think of God “needing” anything, but maybe he does. Maybe necessity is upon God because of his very nature and character. Good and loving “needs” something to be good and loving to.

I wonder how many worlds, how many universes, God has created as expressions of his love and goodness.

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God “Speaks” Through what he Creates

God is a God who communicates. “And God said, let there be light….And God said, let their be sky…And God said, let their be water… And God said, let their be land…And God said, let there be sun, moon, and stars, and plants, and birds, and fish, and animals.”

Creation is not simply something that God did, creation is an expression of who God is. And the creation that God “spoke” into existence, is now “speaking” back, communicating the nature of its creator.

In Romans 1, we read…For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made…

The ancient Hebrew king, David, knew this when he used the metaphor of speech to describe creation. Psalm 19:

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.

They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them.

Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.

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I believe that the Genesis story of creation tells me that God is. It tells me that God is good. It tells me that God creates. And it tells me that God “speaks” through what he creates.

But something else was coming to creation that would hold even a more intimate expression of God. (Next Time)


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