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Don Stewart :: Does God Dwell in Time?

Don Stewart

Time can be defined as the measurement of events that appear one after another. When God created the world He created time - He existed before the first event of creation. Therefore God dwells outside of time.

God Is Not Limited By Time

The Bible says that God is not limited to time. Scripture says that He is the one who inhabits eternity.

For thus says the high and lofty one who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy (Isaiah 57:15).

While God inhabits eternity, He deals with His creation in time. This is another example of an antinomy - two truths that seemingly conflict. Consequently we can only approximate the truth when we speak of God living outside of time, yet interacting with His people in time. The Bible says.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts (Isaiah 55:8,9).

Time Is Relative To God

We find that time is merely relative to God. The Bible says.

But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day (2 Peter 3:8).

Although we cannot totally reconcile these statements, we believe them because God has revealed these truths to us.

He Is The Alpha And Omega

God never had a beginning point and will never have an end. The Scriptures recognize that Jesus is the beginning and the end. At the beginning of the Book of Revelation we read.

"I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty" (Revelation 1:8).

The same truth is restated at the end of Revelation.

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End (Revelation 22:13).

Isaiah wrote.

This is what the LORD says - Israel's King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God (Isaiah 44:6).

Again Isaiah recorded God saying.

Listen to me, O Jacob, Israel, whom I have called: I am he; I am the first and I am the last. My own hand laid the foundations of the earth, and my right hand spread out the heavens; when I summon them, they all stand up together (Isaiah 48:12,13)

Summary

Time and space were part of God's creation. He existed before there was such a thing as time. Consequently God dwells in eternity not in time. Because he dwells in eternity he sees both the beginning and the end. While God does not dwell in time, He interacts with His creation in time. Although humankind cannot completely comprehend how this is true, nevertheless this is the biblical teaching on the subject.

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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