Time (Part 1)
Updated: Aug 24, 2021
By sis Leong Mei Ji
Time actually began "in the beginning" (in Genesis 1:1, which is a time reference). Time requires a completion by a specified deadline or within a specified period. We do not have to pay for the time we spend. Time is free, but it is priceless. We cannot own it, but we can use it. We cannot keep it, but we can spend it. However, once we have lost it we can never get it back because it is perishable and irreplaceable. Time is something we feel we never have enough of, yet we give it away so easily. The impact of our lives is directly related to how wisely we use the time we have. However, this does not mean that you and I have to hurry or hustle through life.
God and time
Is God bound by time?
God is not bound by time. He created time. God is timeless. God is beyond time. God is not bound by the limits of time any more than He is bound by the limits of space. With the Lord one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day. The apostle Peter says in 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.” God is eternal. All created beings are subject to time, but God is the eternal maker and is Himself uncreated. He did not come into existence at some point in time. Instead, He is the Beginning and the End. Revelation 22:13 reads, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.” God existed before time began and will continue to exist forever. He is God “from everlasting to everlasting.” Psalms 90:2 establishes this truth, “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.”
Although God is timeless, God does things in His own time. ‘In His own time’ - that is how God operates. God operates on His own calendar and in fact He operates without a calendar. God works in the fullness of time when it comes. “But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law” (Galatians 4:4). God can do that because He is a timeless God. Clearly, time does not relate to God and man in the same way.
Man is bound by time
Human life begins with birth and goes on until death. Our lives revolve around time. Human beings are creatures of time, and we are preoccupied with that. Our time is bound by a goal or task that is measured or restricted by time. This means that you and I would have only a certain amount of time to achieve that goal or task. Our lives are connected with time. We have clocks in our houses and even in public places so that we can keep track of time. If we are asked, “What time is it”?, we would glance at the clock, check the time and respond accordingly. We are time’s subjects. Although we are subject to the limitations of time, time is not our master. God holds our time in His hands (Psalm 31:15).
Our days are numbered
In Psalm 90:12, Moses said, “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” What is Moses telling us in Psalm 90:12? He is not telling us to calculate the number of days that we have lived so far! You and I understand multiplication and would be able to come up with the number of days we have lived so far. To calculate, take the number of birthdays x 365 days, giving us the number of days that we have thus lived!
Statistically we can calculate our death day. Based on an average life span of 76 years, if a child was born on 1st of March 2020, the child would have lived 549 days and have perhaps another 74 years and 122 days to live (based on 31st August 2021). The child’s estimated death day would be 1st of March 2094. However, the child is not guaranteed to live until 2094. We are not guaranteed the next day or even today. “For we are but of yesterday, and know nothing, because our days upon earth are a shadow” (Job 8:9). This is to say, we have short lives. Our lives, like the morning mist, disappear in the heat of the sun. “For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” (James 4:14). So, we understand that life is temporary because it is soon over. Listen to what the writer of Hebrews says in Chapter 9 verse 27, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”On this basis, time is of the essence because life is brief. Thus, it would be advisable and good for us to think about our impending death and resurrection.