January 10, 2009

God and time

So, recently I've been thinking about God and time, spurred on by the question "What is the meaning of history?"

To me, history is kind of complicated. It's a term we who live within the limits of time use to describe the progression of events. History is purposeful, ultimately and sovereignly controlled by God. But things get confusing when we bring in heaven. The hymn Our God Our Help in Ages Past describes it perfectly: "A thousand ages in your sight is like an evening gone."

But though the concept of time is waaaay different in heaven, history is immensely important to us now. God has indeed made time and space, and He called it good!

It's mind-boggling to think of how God comes into history. Our infinite God exists outside of time.

2 Peter 3:8: "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."

Psalm 90:4: "For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night."

But he is able to enter into our dimensions and limits in the person of Jesus. Jesus became fully human, and acted inside of time. Galatians 4:4: But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law."

"He is SO cool!" my friend Kaitlyn said when we were talking about Jesus a few days ago. Isn't he?

I was also thinking about how God is eternal, he exists for ever and ever. Yet that is different than the way our souls exist: they do exist forever, (either in heaven or hell) but we haven't existed since the beginning.

The difference is like the difference between a line and a line segment. God is like a line: eternal, with no beginning and no end, going on forever. Human souls are like rays: we have a definite beginning, but afterwards we go on indefinitely. Material things, plants, even the universe are like line segments. Though they may exist for a long time, they have a beginning and an end.

If you were asked "what is the meaning of history?" how would you answer?


Mom said...

Hmmm....connecting math to eternal truth. thanks!

Grace Joan said...

This is good to think about.
I'll get back to you about the question...

But I'm not so sure material things (this universe) are mere line segments; for they too will be restored (Romans 8:20-23).

Art said...

It troubles me to be wrong, but I'm glad you pointed that out, Grace. Does the Romans passage indicate that all material things (ie, the computer I'm typing on) will be restored? Is it just that the creation will exist in another form?