We’ve been looking at the names of God and how his names help us understand him better. This week I want to look at the name, ‘The Alpha and the Omega’.
The Apostle John tells us that God calls himself the Alpha and the Omega:
‘”I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty”’ (Revelation 1:8).
‘He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son.”’ (Revelation 21:5-7).
‘Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star’ (Revelation 22:12-16).
But what is an Alpha? What is an Omega? Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet. Omega is the last letter of the Greek alphabet. The original readers would have known this as the Book of Revelation was written in Greek. The English equivalent would be like saying I am the ‘A’ and the ‘Z’.
So what does God wish to tell us by calling himself the Alpha and the Omega? The context of the passages tell us that God also calls himself the Beginning and the End. Meaning God has always been and always will be. There is no one who was before him. And there is no one after him. Therefore, we can learn much about God from the name ‘The Alpha and the Omega.’ We can see his greatness. We can see his eternal nature. We can see his power. We can see his knowledge.
So the name ‘Alpha and Omega’ should be a great comfort to those who trust in God. In Revelation 21 it says that he will give the water of life to those who come to him and desire to live forever. This is only a comfort if we know that he will always be there to give us eternal life.
Imagine a local council said we’re installing a drinking fountain and everyone is free to drink from it if they will only come and drink. Fair enough. Sounds nice. But does the council know the future? Will the council always be there to make sure the water flows? Will they have the resources to keep it there? What if there’s a drought and the dam runs dry? Will the council even exist in a 100 years?
Whereas God’s promise is wonderfully supported by the fact that he is the beginning and the end. He will always exist and so can make sure those who turn to him can drink of his water of life.
Have you turned in repentance and drunk from the water of life of the Alpha and the Omega?