Psalm 90:4 (ESV)
For a thousand years in your sight
are but as yesterday when it is past,
or as a watch in the night.
(This is part 10 of our study on ‘Who is God‘)
In our last post, we found that God is eternal. Today, we are really examining some of the practical aspects of God being eternal.
The first thing to keep in mind is that time is a created thing – it is just like the rest of creation. That means that God created it, and is not bound by it, just as God is not bound by His creation (other than by choice). God is outside of time.
2 Peter 3:8 (ESV)
But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
But what does this mean for me, you may ask? Plenty of things! For me personally, this is one of the most amazing things about God, and as hard as it is to really understand or grasp in my mind, it brings amazing comfort and helps strengthen my faith.
First, God is not bound by time. This means that He knows the beginning, He knows the end, and He knows the middle – before any of it happened. He knows what will happen tomorrow, or even in a thousand years. This in itself was shown especially through prophecy in the Old Testament, and in Jesus time. For a quick example, take a read of the book of Daniel (preferably in a study Bible which helps explain when the events then happened), and see all of the fulfilled prophecy in that book! There are plenty of other examples, but that one short book is a great quick primer on fulfilled prophecy if you haven’t spent much time in the Old Testament.
The practical applications of this are many. God already knows what you need, well before even you do. And He can set in motion things that need to happen well before you would even be aware of the need! God is not constrained by our concept of time. For us, we find out we need something and then we have to work towards the solution to that need. For God, being outside of time, He already knew at the creation of the world that you would need what you do today, and things may have already been set in motion before your birth to get you what you need today, even if you only prayed for it this morning. How awesome is that?
Another benefit of this is that God doesn’t need ‘time’ to prepare or think about something. You can pray now – but because God already knew, He already knew His answer, and has already provided in His will. An extreme example might be a car accident – at that terrifying moment when you know everything is suddenly out of control, you might pray ‘God help me!’ – And He will. He doesn’t need time to react, He doesn’t need time to set plans in motion – He can just provide.
And whilst there are many more benefits, the last key benefit for me is that God knows. He knew you would be saved even before the beginning of the world (Eph 1:4-5; Rev 17:8 and more). God knows what is going to happen. God has already planned out all of the events of our lives, based on His foreknowledge and His will. What an amazing thing! God already knows, because He has already been there. As crazy as that sounds, that is an amazing comfort, because I know that God will never be surprised by something happening. He already knew it would happen, and can even be using whatever it is as a part of His will for our lives. He can be using those things that pop up on us in this life to guide and bring us closer to Him, and even to help others see Jesus in us.
That for me is not only comforting, but almost makes faith ‘easy’, in that I know I have faith in a God who knows what will happen, and ensure that all things work out for good (Romans 8:28).
Isaiah 46:8-11 (ESV)
“Remember this and stand firm,
recall it to mind, you transgressors,
remember the former things of old;
for I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me,
declaring the end from the beginning
and from ancient times things not yet done,
saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
and I will accomplish all my purpose,’
calling a bird of prey from the east,
the man of my counsel from a far country.
I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass;
I have purposed, and I will do it.
(Photo: flickr / grufnik)