13 Principles of Torah-based Faith that were enumerated by Rambam (Maimonides):
4. I fully believe that He is the first and the last.
As it is written in Isaiah 44:6
כֹּה-אָמַ֨ר יי מֶלֶךְ-יִשְׂרָאֵ֛ל וְגֹאֲל֖וֹ יי צְבָא֑וֹת אֲנִ֤י רִאשׁוֹן֙ וַאֲנִ֣י אַחֲר֔וֹן וּמִבַּלְעָדַ֖י אֵ֥ין אֱ”לֹהִֽים׃
Thus says the L-d, the King of Israel,
Their Redeemer, the L-d of hosts:
I am the first and I am the last,
And there is no G-d but Me.
Hashem is the G-d of hosts, the hosts are the angels in the heavens who daily declare that He is King.
From our perspective, He is the first and the last. There is no god before Him and there will be none after Him. We see this reflected in Isaiah 43:10 where it says that there is no god formed before nor after Him, where the word “formed” in Hebrew is “notsaar.” The word “notsaar” is used to indicate that only shortsighted people think that there can be powers-gods before or after Him. It is precisely to dispel this shortsighted notion that the Torah begins with the creation story. To show that any force – sea, sun, moon etc. – which man might see as god, was created by the One and Only Creator.
I wrote that from our perspective He is the first and the last. Because when you speak of a first or a last it is linked to time. Hashem is outside of time. That is also what the name of Hashem reflects: He was, He is, He will be. Hashem is outside of time because He is the only True One Existing. If He were bound by time and there were a before and an after, it would not be the One and Only.
Because He is the One and Only, the One and Only True King who is declared to be the One and Only True King every day by the hosts, it is good that we join them by accepting G-ds Kingship every day – for example, in the morning. We can do that by saying the following prayer, for example:
Almighty G-d, we take upon us Your sovereign Kingship and Mastery
You alone are our G-d
You alone are our King
You alone are Almighty and
You alone are Eternal
You alone are our Creator
You alone are our Redeemer
You alone we worship, and You alone we thank.
As it is written in Your Holy Torah, “You shall know this day and realize with your whole heart that G-d alone is G-d; in the heavens above and on the earth below – there is no one else!”
And, “You shall love your G-d with all your heart, all your soul and all your strength,
And to “fear G-d, your G-d, and serve Him, and only in His Name shall you make a vow.”
The L-rd will reign forever.
By Angelique Sijbolts
Sources: Dasberg Sidur, Ibn Ezra on Isaiah 44:6:2, Ibn Ezra on Isaiah 43:10:3, The Order
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