Thursday, February 14, 2013

Before The Beginning Of Time

It is difficult for us to imagine anything beyond this moment. We do it; we manage to imagine but often it is just within our own experience. We imagine things based on our past experience. It is hard for us to imagine anything beyond our own experience. Time is a difficult concept for us to handle and eternity even more so. It is hard for us to understand God and his relationship with time so we continue to think of him in a linear manner. So when we say that God knew everything before he created it we see ourselves fixed, engraved, stuck with a certain future.

God's foreknowledge does not rob us of our choice. We have freedom to make our own decisions, regardless of the consequences but God simply knows what they are and has made his plans accordingly. Psalm 139 is one of the great portions of Scripture that reveals this:

Lord, you have searched me
    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 know it completely, O Lord. (vv. 1-4)

And then this:

All the days ordained for me
    were written in your book
    before one of them came to be. (v. 16)

Some people are threatened by this and feel they are trapped. like a character in a novel. However, foreknowledge does not rob me of my choice and decisions. Someone knowing what I will decide does not mean that I no longer have the power to make that decision.

Now knowing this about our God, does it not strike you as something incredible that he knew everything that would happen and still he went ahead with it? He knew the heartache we would cause him. He knew that we would reject him. He knew the hatred that would be produced in us. He knew the cost he would have to pay for us. He knew all this and made his plans accordingly. Can you see why the Apostle Paul stated:

This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 1:9-10)

Yes, nothing about God is new. He didn't just suddenly change over night. He didn't even gradually change. He is the same throughout the Word, it's only that we have gained a better understanding. Over time more has been revealed. The people of the world did not know of God in the same way pre-Moses as they did after Moses. It had nothing to do with Moses and everything to do with God making himself known. Further revelation was given through Jesus. Now possessed by the Spirit we can have an intimate knowledge of our God.

It isn't that God suddenly became a God of grace. In order for God to do all that he has done over human history, he had to make those decisions at the beginning. He had determined his grace before he commanded light into existence. The grace we enjoy today was given to us before he even started on creation. That is pretty awesome. When God makes a decision he does not change his mind or his ways. He has granted us grace, it is ours. He made that decision before he even started on his creation so don't deny him that glory. Accept his grace and live your life under that grace for his glory. What an awesome God we serve!

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