Warning: Spoiler alerts ahead. I love spoiler alerts. I usually read the last pages of a novel before I read the first because I want to know if the time and emotional investments are worth spending.
I know this bothers some people… a LOT. Nevertheless, I don’t like surprises and I don’t like wimpy endings, so if I ask you to tell me the end, don’t hold back. You aren’t spoiling anything.
Spoiler Alert. This book has a wimpy ending. I thought I knew the ending because I’d seen the movie. Wrong. If I’d known the end from the beginning, I wouldn’t have wasted my time reading the entire novel. Honestly, I don’t think Alexander Dumas knew the end he was working toward either; I think he was winging it and I feel cheated.
What does it mean to know the end from the beginning? When it comes to God, we usually think it means that God knows how he is going to bring about the end of history. However, there is so much more to it than that.
God knows the end of all things before anything began. He knows because he is eternal. God’s being eternal is different from our inheriting eternal life. You and I will live in an unending succession of moments with God, God is eternal in that he never began nor will he ever end, he exists above and outside of time.
God is not limited by time. He doesn’t wait to know what will happen next, he already knows. And he has always known, he has nothing to learn. Everything he does is perfect and perfectly timed because he knows everything there is to know about time. He makes no mistakes in time.
“ I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’” — Isaiah 46:9b-10 NIV
Spoiler Alert: God also knows everything about our lives. He knows the ridiculous choices we made when we were younger. He knows our sin. He knows our heartache. He knows our foolishness.
Not only does God know our past, he perfectly and intimately knows our future. The failures that are ahead of us, the sin that will ensnare us, the hearts we will break, the friends and family we will let down, the times when we will beat ourselves up with regret, shame and guilt.
God knows our victories, successes, and all of our prideful and our humble moments. He knows when we will stand firm for him and when we will fall. He knows every word we will speak and every thought we will think. He knows the moment of our dying breath.
Because God is eternal, he knows every moment we have lived and will live, and somehow he lives in every moment with us.
“You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.” – Psalm 139:1-6 NIV
Spoiler Alert: God knows everything about us and has decided we are worth his investment. He cares about us. He loves us. He will sustain us.
In God’s eternality, there is no fatigue, or restlessness, or misunderstanding, or weakness, or forgetfulness, or failure. There can’t be any of those things because all of them require the limits of time, and God exists above time.
Because God is eternal, existing outside of time, we can rest in the truth that he is sovereign over all of our circumstances. In his eternal wisdom, love, grace, and mercy he allows, or ordains, every detail of our lives.
“Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” – Isaiah 46:4 NIV
Spoiler Alert: Knowing that God is eternal changes us. We spend much of our Christian lives trying to learn how we should live as Christians. We search for formulas to help us grow in holiness. We ask God to help us be better Christians. We may fail to understand that knowledge of God changes us from the inside out.
As we ponder and meditate on the attributes of God; as we try, for example, to understand what it means that God exists outside of time, we are transformed by the renewing of our minds.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” – Romans 12:2 NIV
Does it comfort you to know that God already knows every detail about your future? Are you reassured that he knows your past and still loves you? Does the truth that he will never fail you bring you peace?
What does it mean to you that it is God who created time and exists beyond it?
This summer (2016) I have chosen to highlight an attribute of God each week in the blog posts. For the entire catalog of attributes, please click on this link:
Attributes of God
For individual blog posts click on one of the following links
Knowable Creator Wisdom Father Good Just All Knowing Unchanging Eternal Spirit Truth Light Beautiful
2 thoughts on “Eternal”
We need to walk the talk.
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