The Godhead Together
Psalm 90:2 says, “Before the mountains were brought forth, or you had ever formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, you are God.” God is eternal. He never had a beginning and He will never have an ending.
The concept of eternity extending into the future is fairly easy for us to understand, because we humans have it built into our innermost consciousness that we will live for eternity. Atheists may try to convince themselves and others that when we die, that is the end. But they do this because of a fear: what if there really is a God and what He has said is really so? When your mortal body dies, your spirit and soul will live on forever, either in heaven or hell. The Bible clearly states this truth. Most, if not all, pagan religious systems also believe there is some form of eternal life for the soul. The consciousness that we are eternal is built into us by our Creator.
But God is more than eternal into the future. He is eternal without a beginning. This is hard for us to wrap our heads around, because we have absolutely no frame of reference to place the concept in. Everything we see around us was created and had a beginning.
God is outside of time. Time is a part of creation — a concept that originated in God’s thoughts, which He then deliberately brought into existence. Genesis 1:14-19 describes God’s creation of the celestial bodies as markers for telling time on the earth. Isaiah 46:10 tells us that He declares the end from the beginning. He sees all points of our timeline from beginning to end, all at the same instant, because He is above time. This is one of the reasons why we describe Him as all-knowing.
All three persons of the Godhead have eternally existed, without beginning. This means that God the Son is not younger than God the Father. This concept, also, is hard for us to imagine. Artists have sometimes portrayed God the Father as looking very, very old. Perhaps this is because Daniel 7 refers to Him as “the Ancient of Days.” In the Bible, God often describes Himself and His character in terms that we can grasp. The point He is making in Daniel is not that He is aged (as in deteriorating, decrepit, doddery, filled with wrinkles), but that He has been around ever so much longer than we can conceive of — forever, in fact.
We can take comfort in God’s eternalness. He will always be there for us without fail, and He has had every problem we will ever face under His surveillance, with His plan in place for how to fix it, since before anything existed.
Excerpted from Before Whom We Stand: The Everyman’s Guide to the Nature of God — available in print from Full Gospel Family Publications and Amazon and in e-book form from many fine ebook sellers.