God and Time

William Blake - Satan ExultingIn the original languages, the Bible never mentions the existence of time per se. If time does not exist, how does God predict what demons and self-willed people will do?

The angels existed when the world’s foundations were laid (Job 38:4-7). However, God did not create evil. Lucifer was blameless in his ways until the day unrighteousness was found in him. He was the most beautiful and  greatest-in rank of all God’s creatures. What caused Satan to sin? It was not God. Satan’s pride in his exalted position brought him down. (Ezekiel 28:13-16 and Isaiah 14:12-14).

Imagine this scenario!

God: Lucifer, for your sin of pride you will someday be tormented in unending fire (Matthew 25:41).

Lucifer: Pride is a minor thing. Yet you charge me with high offense. You  are rushing to judgment and your justice is overwhelming. (Job 4:18). You are judging me for something I have not yet done.

God: I know good and evil (Genesis 3:22). I know how sin grows and spreads. I predict that in the end your evil will grow until you bring destruction, ruin, death and misery on the prefect universe I created.

Lucifer: You are overwhelming in your power. You are a judge without leniency or mercy. I have assembled the hosts of heaven and one third of the angels side with me (Revelations 12:4).

God: I have created creatures of the dust who are in my image and after my likeness. I plan to use the humans to display my boundless mercy and justice and they will be your judges (1 Corinthians 6:3).

Lucifer:  Let me talk to those creatures of the dust . . . (later). The clay models of yourself have come to know good and evil. How can you use them to display your mercy when they are now following me and must answer to your justice? I demand that you return them to the dust.

God: I myself will resolve the conflicts between justice and mercy. I myself will save them. I will give my redeemed ones new bodies, better than dust bodies. I will be praised by those whom I redeem from your rebellious kingdom and give them a status higher than yours, as my children. They will demonstrate that I am a God of love and mercy and they will judge you for what you have done to them (1 Corinthians 6:3). I will crush you under their feet (Romans 16:20).

None of these things requires that God see the future, as though time (the future) actually exists. A Christian trained in Augustinian theology, might say “You are taking away from God’s majesty by claiming He does not see the future.” On the contrary, I am giving him much greater glory. He is sovereign. He makes trillions of sovereign choices every day with respect to nature, angels, demons and people, yet he never does evil.  He makes fools of the wise who refuse to honor Him as creator. He certifies that those who sin will be enslaved by their sin. Yet He also chooses some whom He will save. He is gracious, since He answers the prayers of His children to save their loved ones as well. A God who moves history in the direction He predicts, without ever lying or doing evil, is vastly more powerful than a God who merely sees the future.

What is the point of all this? Time has no existence, either for man or God.

1. Long time (over the horizon events) are in our minds (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

2. Time is merely a symbol for counting, like numbers. Thirty five hundred years ago, people did not imagine that time exists or is measurable. Their calendars were dynamic and adjusted to fit the changes observed in nature.

3. All ancient people understood earth history non linearly, as did the biblical authors. They believed that days and years continue to shorten (Genesis 47:9) from generation to generation.

Hubble Ultra Deep 4491You can read about a biblical, non linear world view on this website. We can see in galactic history the very things God says He repeatedly did and continues to do in the heavens as the Sun, Moon and stars continue to spread out.

William Blake, made the pen and water color of Satan exulting over Eve in 1795. It is in the J. Paul Getty Museum. The photo of a primordial galaxy is from NASA. It shows a stream of bluish stars globs (like beads on a necklace) emerging from the redder core of HUDF galaxy 4491. Cosmic history shows that orbits accelerate along with the accelerating atomic clocks. Think about it.


Biblical Creation without Science