In retrospect, I can see many events in my life that have had distinctive beginnings and endings. A few examples of those for me are schooling; jobs (I am retired, I think); and some relationships (my parents are both deceased). The only constant, the one ongoing reality, is God—and his sense of order and purpose.
Almost everyone knows at least something of the story of creation, even if they heard it long ago as a child in Sunday school, and have had no real contemplation of it since. Being once again at the start of a new year, I am again reading in Genesis, but I noticed something I have not before.
Were there to be a survey of the most remembered words in the story of creation in Genesis 1, my guess is the majority of those responses would be, “In the beginning…” That was certainly familiar to me as I read, yet another phrase grabbed my attention recently. And wouldn’t let go. The phrase is, “And it was so.” Together those two phrases seem to form seven perfect words, a message of completion. “In the beginning…And it was so.”
Without getting too mystical about it, it is a fact that certain numbers are used more frequently and with significance in the Bible. Some of those recurring numbers are 3,7,12 and 40. For example, the number seven correlates to the number of days of creation, even if God rested on the seventh (and by the way, the word rest in Hebrew in 2:2 of Genesis means not only to stop or cease but also to celebrate); many of Israel’s feast days were seven days long; and the Feast of Tabernacles and the Day of Atonement take place in the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar. Our own calendar still defines one week as seven days.
The phrase, “And it was so” in the reading is found in verses 7,9,11,15, 24 and 30 of the first chapter of Genesis (ESV). The verses and the wordage may depend on what Bible translation you are using. (Some others that I found use the phrase, “And that was what happened”, or “That is how it was”). These words and phrases share the same meaning—they reflect completion.
Charles Spurgeon, the prolific pastor and orator, opines in his Genesis 1 commentary on the phrase: “…what he has spoken shall certainly be fulfilled…These words are often repeated in this chapter. They convey to us the great lesson that the word of God is sure to be followed by the deed of God. He speaks, and it is done.”
The Psalmist also writes about this in Psalm 33:8-9. “Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him! For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.”
A New Testament scripture both confirms the Old and elaborates on the promise to us: “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6
And in Revelation 1:8, the concept of God’s complete plan is reiterated once more. “ ‘I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending’, says the Lord, which is and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” (KJV)
Interesting to note that the first scripture and the last scripture used in this blog are from Genesis, then Revelation. Just chance? No, just another confirmation of the order and perfection of God’s ways. I did not plan that in my outline. He is ceaselessly amazing!
The proclamation is true. In our lives now and in the future the Lord will do what he says he will do. In our lives too—it (will be) so.