Do you like doing puzzles? It can be fun (or frustrating) to dump a pile of little tidbits onto a table and slowly construct a larger picture from them. The Bible allows us to see so many little pieces of who God is. As we assemble those, we are about to more fully appreciate who He is.
One of the glimpses creation gives us is into the eternal nature of God. The first verse of all Scripture reads “In the beginning, God. . .” It gives us no information here about what happened before the world got its beginning. Relying on other Scripture to fill in those gaps, it becomes apparent that God Himself had no beginning and will have no end. Because we are temporary and everything in our world has a start date and will have an end date, it is so difficult for us to mentally grasp what forever is like. However, God is eternal (Deut 33:27), He is the “King of ages” and immortal (1 Tim 1:17), about Himself God says “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end” (Rev 22:13).
“Before the Foundation of the World”
Also, it is insightful to think about the phrase “before the foundation of the world.” It is used four times in the New Testament to describe things God did before the world even was built on its foundation. Twice it is used to talk about how Jesus was loved and foreknown before creation (John 17:24, 1 Pet 1:20). It is used in Ephesians 1:4 as Paul explains that “we” (to be seen as people in general) have been chosen by God to be saved by Jesus “before the foundation of the world.”
How humbling is it to realize that God prior to creating anything, prior to the fall of humanity (Gen 3), prior to the global flood (Gen 6–8), prior to the calling of Abram (Gen 12), prior to the calling of Israel as “God’s chosen people”, God had a plan that would require the life of His only begotten Son (John 3:16) to save you and me! God’s planning for our redemption before our creation truly shows us what it is like for an all-knowing God to operate outside the realm of time. While it is terribly difficult to grasp the eternal nature of God, it is wildly comforting to know that God had our redemption planned since before the beginning.
- Can you think of examples of how long eternity is? (For example, imagine how long it would take a mosquito to carry each grain of sand on the entire earth one at a time to the moon.)
- How does studying God’s timelessness help us grow in our appreciation of God’s love?
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