3 Dec. Isaiah says God is the beginning and the end
“The LORD says, ‘people of Jacob, you are my servants. Listen to me! People of Israel, I chose you.’ This is what the LORD says, who made you, who formed you in your mother’s body, who will help you: ‘People of Jacob, my servants, don’t be afraid. Israel, I chose you.’”
“'I will pour out water for the thirsty land and make streams flow on dry land. I will pour out my Spirit into your children and my blessing on your descendants. Your children will grow like a tree in the grass, like poplar trees growing beside streams of water.’”
“'One person will say, “I belong to the LORD,” and another will use the name Jacob. Another will sign his name “I am the LORD’s,” and another will use the name Israel.’”
“The LORD, the king of Israel, is the LORD All-powerful, who saves Israel. This is what he says: ‘I am the beginning and the end. I am the only God. Who is a god like me? That god should come and prove it. Let him tell and explain all that has happened since I set up my ancient people. He should also tell what will happen in the future.’”
“'Don’t be afraid! Don’t worry! I have always told you what will happen. You are my witnesses. There is no other God but me. I know of no other Rock; I am the only One.’”
“'Some people make idols, but they are worth nothing. People treasure them, but they are useless. Those people are witnesses for the statues, but those people cannot see. They know nothing, so they will be ashamed.’”
“'Who made these gods? Who made these useless idols? The workmen who made them will be ashamed, because they are only human. If they all would come together, they would all be ashamed and afraid.’”
In today’s passage, Isaiah tells the exiles in Babylonia that the LORD, the God of Israel, chose the descendants of Jacob to be his own people. He reminds them that the LORD formed them in their mother’s womb, and provided the rainfall necessary to grow their food in an arid land (see Isaiah 44:2-3).
The LORD promises to pour out his Spirit – the Holy Spirit – on the children of Israel and their descendants, so they will grow up like tall trees which thrive on the streams of life-giving water in neighbouring rivers (see Isaiah 44:3-4).
The LORD tells the exiles that he is the only God who can save Israel: “The LORD, the king of Israel, is the LORD All-powerful, who saves Israel. I am the beginning and the end. I am the only God.” (Isaiah 44:6)
In the New Testament, John's vision of the New Jerusalem in the Book of Revelation echoes this passage and puts new meaning into Isaiah's words about "the only God" who is “the beginning and the end”. In his vision, John refers to the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet - Alpha and Omega - signifying the beginning and the end, and points towards Jesus Christ as "the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End" who promises to “give free water from the spring of the water of life to anyone who is thirsty.”(Revelation 21:6).
The photo shows the Alpha and the Omega – the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, signifying the beginning and the end – on the gateway of the Church of All Nations overlooking the Kidron Valley beneath the city walls of Jerusalem.
You can read more from Chapters 41 – 43 of the Book of Isaiah @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/biblejourney2/40-isaiah-offers-comfort-to-those-in-exile/the-lord-will-help-israel/