Those bookend phrases of the Bible set the stage and close the curtain. "In the beginning God" sets the stage by establishing the truth that before all things, God was.
The grammar critic in me cringes at ending that last sentence with a passive verb. I could, appropriately, add a word to follow - such as mighty, or eternal, or great, or creative. Clearly, the Bible itself continues the sentence.
Nevertheless, I contend that a pause at "was" proves beneficial. A pause at "was" draws our attention to the utterly important understanding that all things find their root and meaning in God (with the exception of evil).
You and I belong in the category of "all things." Therefore, with God as our rest and source of meaning, the only way we will discover our reason for being and our significance is to seek His leadership (Lordship) in our lives.
Two sentences from the Bible reveal the equation for a successful search.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.All sincere seekers of God long to know and live His will. Most sincere seekers struggle to find it.
Romans 12:2 (NIV)
It is for those reasons that I greatly appreciate the clarity of 12:2 - especially the "then you." "Then you" tells me that what follows "you" depends on what precedes "then."
Here's the equation:
- Spending too much time doing less than important things?
- Viewing things that your eyes need not see?
- Speaking words that hurt rather than help?
- Talking more than you listen?
- Seeking revenge rather than restoration?
- Celebrating another's defeat rather than supporting the weak?
- Cashing in rather than helping those in need?
- Aiming to be first while forgetting the value of last?