Psalm 90 The Eternality of God: Introduction
In my most recent Biblestudy, I taught a lesson on death and dying. Contrary to my hesitations going into the lesson, I received a great deal of positive feedback which made me think this might be a much needed blog series. It, indeed, counseled my heart as I wrote it. That, coupled with the fact that at this moment our family knows of at least 7 people we are praying for that have received a recent cancer diagnosis and, I have a dear friend who is on the verge of losing her Dad. In fact, by the time the last of this series is published he will most likely have passed away. All of these things have continued to press in on the fact that death is a reality but we are rarely prepared to face it, for ourselves or our loved ones.
Death isn’t something most of us spend time pondering. We would rather surround ourselves with levity and pleasure and leave death for another day. Until it comes to call. The truth is, we don’t want to go out of our way to think about death but there is a strong pull within us to have answers to life’s most inevitable questions. There is assurance in pondering and settling within our souls the theology of death. Death is a reality for all of us. It is a part of life. Not only will we face death ourselves but as long as we live, death will surround us.
For every circumstance people face in life, there is a way people think about those circumstances. The more concise, modern term for this is “ideology”. Everyone has an “idea-ology”. However, for the believer, our ideology should be driven by our theology. In other words, we must always begin and end with God. If we do otherwise, we can never think rightly about any circumstances much less walk in them with any confidence, peace or hope. Our God is the answer, in and of Himself, for all that we face on earth and for eternity. He isn’t just the Giver of good gifts, He, Himself is the gift. He isn’t just the One who grants forgiveness of sins, He, Himself is the means by which we gain forgiveness. He isn’t just the Father that bestows an inheritance, imperishable and undefiled, He, Himself is the inheritance.
Therefore, we study God to inform us about life. And what more applicable attribute to study when pondering death than the Eternality of God? The eternality of God, His timelessness, stands in stark contrast to our limited “finite-ness”. God’s eternality, just like all of His other attributes: His incomprehensibility, self-existence, self-sufficiency, immutability, omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, to name a few, are underscored by His limitlessness or the fact that He is infinite.
However, this is a concept that our minds cannot fully grasp. We know that the term “eternal” means having no beginning and no end however, we cannot completely UNDERSTAND what it means. This will always be the case when we study about God. We can know Him and study His character but because He is so far above us and so “other” than us, we will struggle to comprehend the full extent of who He is because He is a God of no limits.
In the same way, we will study His eternality. The fact that our God has had no beginning and will have no end. He is the God of infinite days yet He is not bound by time. God created time, God controls time but He is not encapsulated or bound by time. He lives in the eternal present. All days are as one with Him. There are no yesterdays or tomorrows. Everything is always today. Right now.
Again, it is hard for us to understand exactly what that looks like. Mainly because we are bound by time. On a specific day we were created and our bodies began the process of aging, the process of dying from the moment of conception. Think about that. Then, we were born and our DOB and time was recorded by the physician and the clock began to tick. And when we meet our end here on earth, the exact same set of numbers will be recorded. And somewhere between the DOB and the DOD we have this thing called life, in the dash.
We measure our lives by time. We mark experiences and significant events and we remember based on time: before this person was born, after this person died; after we worked here or before we were married etc; Yet, we often become so wrapped up in our days that we don’t take inventory of “what happens next.” We are content to live out our days in busyness until we are forced to take a look at the fact that we are but dust, our days are as a mist and death is certain for us all.
Thankfully, scripture tells us, in Psalm 31:15a, our times are in His hands! Our times, our dash, are not arbitrary days, surrounded by arbitrary people driven by arbitrary circumstances. Our times are in the hands of a sovereign and eternal God who numbers our days before there is even one. And you know what the Psalmist says leading up to this great declaration? “I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God” (Psalm 31:14). The Psalmist placed his trust in the One who held his times and claimed Him as Lord God.
Beloved, what we think of death will inform what we think of life. How we think about death will inform how we live! As we begin this series of lessons about death, dying, the frailty of man and the eternality of God, let’s begin by reminding ourselves that even though we are not eternal, we serve a God who is. Praise Him for His eternality and praise Him that our times are indeed in His hands!