March 24, 2010

Pondering God #5: The Eternality of God

"Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God." ~Psalms 90:2

The Hebrew word for everlasting is עוֹלָם [o-lawm']: vanishing point; time out of mind.

God views all points in time simultaneously. Things like prophecy are not prediction for God, they are a plan. He already knows how things will unfold for man. If God lives outside of creation which I mentioned earlier it means He is not affected by the time constraints of His creation. We, on the other hand, are restricted to this universe so it’s time constraint holds sway over us. Our lives are short and are only a vesper on the cosmic time scale. Because He knows what will be and we do not, we should pray and confide in Him by seeking His consul.

“Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that."~ James 4:14-15

Time only has relevance to humans. Time affects God only because He allows it to and that is primarily because of His interactions with man. We are His beloved creation. He deemed us important enough that He sent His only begotten Son Jesus to save that we too could be His sons, daughters and heirs. So we could be free of the law that had become a curse. A law that was given because of our own sin.

"I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God." ~ Galatians 4:1-7

"The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him." Romans 8:16-17

In A.W. Tozer’s book The Knowledge of the Holy uses and interesting analogy when referring to the phrase “everlasting to everlasting” when he speaks of God's timelessness. He parallels it by saying from “vanishing point to vanishing point”. Having taken art classes…a vanishing point is a theoretical point where non-parallel lines merge or vanish into the horizon based on the viewer’s perspective. Even in this definition by man’s standards we have an imaginary or theoretical point not a real one because it implies a point infinitely far away far out of our line of sight. Like God we know that it isn’t really there just like an end to God. Any attempt to quantify God’s eternity ends up being another effort in futility because we can only produce an imaginary point that doesn’t really apply to Him and we only do this so we can perceive Him from our perspective (how humbling). Like art I would also venture to say that God can have even more than one perspective or vanishing point. We in this universe on see time moving in two directions, either forward or back, future or past. How do we know that time is only capable of two vanishing points. We are again applying to restrictions of our created existence to an infinite God. I learned a long time ago not to assume limitations into my perception of God. I need only look at the miracles of Christ to realize that even the physics of our creation do not limit what God can do. Why do we assume time can remain uniform and linear?

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