The DEEP

Time

God's or ours?

Titus 1:1–2 (NKJV)

Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began,

Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” — John 8:58 (NKJV)

If God is outside of our time dimension, then the future and the past are not fundamentally different in His eyes. This supports the Reformed Doctrine of Predestination, though in a complex way. As always, I want to emphasize that this isn’t “the answer;” it’s just meant to stretch your mind. The whole truth is too wondrous for us to comprehend. Still, we should meditate on these wondrous things.

Suppose you’re a playwright, and suppose your created beings are aware of their creator. What questions would they ask about you?

Is he/she a main character?
Does he/she have a speaking role?
How many scenes old is he/she?

One of the errors they would make is seeing your age in terms of scenes. They live in a time dimension that their creator isn’t stuck inside. So it is with us and our creator. God isn’t any age; he invented age.


But there’s another insight to be gained here—the concept of order. The Bible makes it clear that Creation was chronological. God did something first, then He did something second, etc. However, that chronology need not be in the same order as events inside our time.

When Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet, did he write the ending last?

Maybe; maybe not. He may have even written the ending first, or at least conceived of it first. The order of creation is typically not the same as the order of things inside the creation.

I didn’t write this in the order you’re reading it. I roughed in the outline, then filled in bits here and there, then fixed a bunch of mistakes, then rewrote parts, etc.

If writers, being in the image of God, don’t create things in the same order as the things inside of what they’re writing, then maybe God doesn’t either.

The creation story in Genesis 1 and 2 feels like that. It describes the work of creation from God’s point of view, culminating in His rest. Some commentators view His rest as what Hebrews 11:3 is referring to.

“So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’ ” — Hebrews 3:11 (NKJV)

That’s a different view of time—God’s time.

Also, Hebrews 3:11 might be the key reference for yesterday’s question, “What is eternal life?”


All the weekly study guides, which include all five devotionals plus related questions for discussion or meditation, are available for download here:

https://www.ailbe.org/resources/itemlist/category/91-deep-studies

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.