How Does God Experience Time?

God and Time

Isaiah 57:15 says that God inhabits eternity. 

The Hebrew word for “inhabit”,  according to ancient scholars,  means “dwelling in a tent.”  The root is the same as that of the tabernacle/tent in Exodus 25:9.  God lives in eternity the same way you or I inhabit a tent.  He experiences all of it at the same time. 

Martin Luther (1483-1546) states,  With God there is nothing that is earlier or later, swifter or slower; but in His eyes all things are present things. For He is simply outside the scope of time.

The Bible says God experiences time differently than humans experience it.  A day with the Lord is as a thousand years and a thousand years as a day (2 Peter 3:8;  Psalm 90:4).  Moments to God are incredibly long and incredibly short at the same time.

Augustine (354-430) says of God, “Your present day does not give way to tomorrow, nor indeed, does it take the place of yesterday. Your present day is eternity.”

Psalm 90:2 states,  Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.”

In God’s experience of reality,  future events are described as past.  For example,  the Lamb was slain before the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8,  see NIV and KJV).  Of this verse,  H. D. M. Spence writes,  “What was foreknown to and ordained by God is spoken of as having taken place.”

In Isaiah 46:9-10,  God declares that he alone knows all of history,  and that his purpose in it will stand and accomplish exactly what he wills.

Anselm (1033-1109) says of God,  “You are outside all time.”

When people stand in God’s presence,  time does strange things:  Moses can pass 40 days without food,  water or sleep,  yet he suffers no ill effects.  Aaron’s dead staff blooms and bears almonds in just one night.   

Jesus as God chose to tabernacle with us by the incarnation,  entering into space and time.

This is the God who holds your life in his hands;  this is the God who would rather die than see you excluded from the Garden of Pleasure.  This is the God clothed with colossal power who bids you to pray to him today.

God commands all things to work for good for those who love him (Romans 8:28).  Joseph can say of the evil planned by his brothers,  “You meant it for evil,  God meant it for good” (Genesis 50:30).

Ephesians 2:10 teaches,  “We are his workmanship,  created in Christ Jesus for good works,  which God prepared beforehand,  that we should walk in them.” 

May we seek to do those works by his power.