Perhaps I am the only one who has noticed this, but have you ever seen someone who claims that God has created everything, and so believes that God is above things like time itself? I have a difficult time getting my mind around this concept, and because this belief creates some strange anomalies, I thought I would bring it up on the Blog for discussion. First, I think this is an important topic, because it reveals more about Who our Creator is, and not to pick on anyone who has this understanding of God. The more we grow in our knowledge of Who God is, the better it is for us.
Genesis 1:1 is the starting point for this discussion: In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. While this means that God created everything in the universe, and the three heavens (see my previous blog posting on this, the 3 Heavens means the sky and every visible thing above it in our galaxy; the unseen world around us which is the domain of angels and demons; and the traditional heaven, home of God and angels). So while Genesis 1:1 speaks of God creating all material things in our universe and on earth, it does not specifically speak of God creating time.
But just because there is no explicit mention that God is over/above time, does this mean that God is within the same time stream as we are? There are several interesting verses on this: first, God is called the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the Beginning and the End (Rev. 1:8, 22:13; Isa. 41:4, 44:6, 48:12). God is also described as "immortal" and the "King of Ages" (1 Timothy 1:17). But what does it mean to describe God as the Beginning and the End, immortal, and the King of Ages? Does this mean that God is outside of time?
Why I ask this is that I have seen other people (and even myself) use prayer that relies on God being above time. As an example, do you think we should pray for the salvation of someone who has already died? Asking that God send an evangelist to someone on their deathbed, when perhaps they died last year? Or worse yet, perhaps someone has prayed that Adolf Hitler would have had an evangelist witness to him on his deathbed? Do these sorts of prayers, praying for God to change something that has taken place in the past, make any sense? Somehow, I think by making prayers like this we are diving into the realm of the Science Fiction hit 'Terminator' show and movies, rather than having a clear understanding of God's nature.
Perhaps prayers like this make sense if God is above time. But if time is merely a measurement of the beginning going towards the end, time being just the line from the first day of Creation (Genesis 1:1) to the final Judgment Day, then it is not insulting for us to say that God as in the same moment as we are. Time would then be merely a description of where we are on God's timeline for His Creation. Now, let me bring up a few verses that touch on this subject - We see in Hebrews 1:3 that Jesus is described as the "exact representation" of God the Father. And when Jesus was on earth, He moved through time growing up from a baby and growing older. Jesus didn't just 'pop' onto earth as a 30 year old man, as perhaps someone who was above time may have done. And of course, in Genesis Chapter 1 we see God creating the universe and everything in it over the course of one week's time, and not at just one moment. And one final thought, we see in 2 Peter 3:8 that for the Lord "one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day". And so, once again God is described as being within some sort of time cycle, with the Lord having days and years, just as mankind does, with His perspective being what is different.
I apologize if this topic is too philosophical for anyone out there reading this. But I think it is an admirable goal to grow in our knowledge of Who God is, and so I ask these questions in hopes that we learn more about God through the study of these verses. For me, I find comfort in thinking of God as being in this same moment as I am, and seeing the same tragic things and the same victories as I do. It makes God a little too weird for me to think of Him as being outside of time, although if someone can give me a good reason to think so, I trust I can change my opinion on this. I hope you will let me know what you think about this. Thanks.