In the beginning

We usually think of beginnings and endings as fixed points in time where something exists or doesn’t exist. The first verse in the Bible says, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). I think one of the most controversial aspects of theology is that God existed before the beginning. He had to or he couldn’t have created the heaven and the earth.

Thinking about what the beginning is may be the best way to unravel the mystery of life. What if the beginning is not a fixed point in time, but a fixed point in space? What if existence is not about what something is, but about where it is? God said to David through the prophet Nathan, “Also I will ordain a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, and they shall dwell in their place, and shall be moved no more; neither shall the children of wickedness waste them any more, as at the beginning” (1 Chronicles 17:9).

The beginning that I believe the LORD is referring to is the Israelites’ entrance into the Promised Land. Although the people had been in the Promised Land for hundreds of years before David became king, their existence as the nation of Israel was not established until David began to dwell in Zion, what was then referred to as the city of David and is now known as Jerusalem.

The phrase “ordain a place” means to put or place someone in a place in society, a position or role that will fulfill his or her destiny, the inevitable occurrence of something predicted or prearranged. The nation of Israel actually came into existence much later than David’s reign as king, but from a time perspective, the establishment of the people in a geographical location is what enabled it to exist.

I could be wrong, but one of the ways I think we know we are in the place where our destiny is or will be fulfilled is it feels like home. There is a sense that we belong and at times it may feel as if we have always been there even though we have not. I think the key to existence is the reality that you did not end up in your place, but were placed there by the hand of God.

It is interesting that the LORD said he would plant his people and they would be moved no more (1 Chronicles 17:9) because often times when people intend to stay in a particular location for an extended period of time, they refer to it as putting down roots. The principle of sowing and reaping can be applied here in the context of having a fruitful life. When we arrive at the place God ordains for us, it will be obvious to everyone around us. They will see a difference and know that God has been at work.

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