Things to come, Vol IV, p.38
A study of first and last words, for example, in books of the Bible or of persons can be very profitable. In this study you will find some examples, but by self study you can add many more to them.
The first words of the Serpent
The first words of the Serpent (Gen. 3:1), “Yea, hath God said?” called in question the Word of God. This directs our attention to the great fact that the Devil is the great enemy of God’s Word. The Voice of the Father had scarcely died away which declared, “This is My beloved Son” (Mat. 3:17), and the Serpent speaks again, and his first recorded words in the New Testament are, “If Thou be Son of God” (4:3).
The words of Christ
The first words Luke wrote down of the twelve year old Jesus “Wist ye not that I must be about My Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49). How wonderful is this as a comment on the object of His coming – “Lo, I come to do thy will, O God.” And when He yielded up His spirit, His last words as the Son of Man were, “It is finished.” What was finished? The “Father’s business” which He came to be about, and the Will of God, which He came to do.
The first words The Lord Jesus spoke at the beginning of His public ministry were, “It is written,” three times repeated. And in His last official words in John 17, where He commended Himself and His work to the Father, there is the same three-fold reference to the Written Word. In verse 17 “Thy word is truth”; verse 14, “I have given them Thy Word”; and verse 8, : I have given them the words which Thou gavest me.” Truly, if we have ears to hear, this fact speaks to us, and says – The beginning and the end of all ministry is the Word of God.
The words of Eve
From the first words noted down of Eve we learn that she changed God’s Word.
There are only three ways of corrupting it.
1. By omitting something from it.
2. By adding something to it.
3. By altering something in it.
(Deut. 4:2; 12:32; Josh. 1:7; Prov. 30:6; Rev. 22:18,19).
In quoting to the serpent (in answer to his question) the words of God, she first omits the word “freely,” thus making God less bountiful (compare Gen. 3:2 with 2:16). Next she adds to the tree of knowledge, “neither shall ye touch it,” making God more harsh than He was (Gen. 3:3 and 2:17); and finally she changes a certainty, “thou shalt surely die” (2 :17) into a contingency, “lest ye die” (3:3). Thus was the way prepared for the Fall of Man, with all its consequent misery, sin and death, by dealing deceitfully with the Word of God.
Last words in the Old and the New Testaments
Again, the Old Testament ends (according to the Hebrew canon) with the command of Cyrus to Israel to build the house of the Lord in Jerusalem, saying, “Let Him go up.” The New Testament ends with the prayer of the believers to come down, saying, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”