Time has long been one of the most discussed and debated themes, throughout human history. In science, time is considered as one of the fundamental quantities in addition to space and mass. If you have time, then let us explore this all-important subject. The online free dictionary suggests several definitions of time, among which is the following:
“A nonspatial continuum in which events occur in apparently irreversible succession from the past through the present to the future.” 1
The International System of Units (SI) defines the base unit of time (the second) as:
"The duration of 9,192,631,770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the caesium 133 atom." 2
As I read through these and other definitions, I could not help but wonder at their complexity. Time has through the ages fascinated many a great mind. Poems, proverbs, articles, journals, papers, theses and books have been and continue to be written. Songs have been composed and sung.
Time is so precious and yet so common that everyone (living and dead), has at some point in their lives possessed it. Time is one of God’s many free gifts. It is the one thing, apart from air, that all, both young and old, free and bond, rich and poor share equally. It is the universal constant. That is not to say we have the same quality or lifespan but that, irrespective of the Timezone, length or quality of our existence, men are subject to the same basic units – second, minute, hour.
God and His angels dwell in the spiritual dimension of eternity. Unlike mortals, the spirits step into and out of our dimension (Time and Space) at will. The word time appears over 888 times in the NIV Bible, but there are many more references to time periods and dates. God controls time as He does all things. He declares the end from the beginning.
"I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty (Revelation 1:8)."
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End (Revelation 22:13).”
I call your attention to Genesis. See, how Divine wisdom introduces the origin of time. If the sacred record had not given us a reference point, then would we have been excused for attempting to fix our own.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. And the evening and the morning were the first day. And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years (Genesis 1:1,5,14).”
God is particular about time. Before the deluge in Noah’s day, God said, “ ‘For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth’, and it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth.” The careful reader will notice how the expression, “the time appointed” or “the fullness of time” echoes through out the written word of God. Hear are a few examples:
“Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son (Genesis 18:14).”
“Thou shalt keep the feast of unleavened bread: (thou shalt eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded thee, in the time appointed of the month Abib; for in it thou camest out from Egypt: and none shall appear before me empty: Exodus 23:15).”
“But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons (Galatians 4:4,5).”
Solomon spent a lot of time in reflection on the meaning of life. He set forth many proverbs and some he dedicated to the topic of time.
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven (Ecclesiastes 3:1).”
He proceeds to give a list of his classic diametric opposites. “A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted …”
According to Mark, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God: “And saying, ‘the time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel’ (Mark 1:15).”
The Lord used the definite article, because He was referring to a definite Time Prophecy: That prophecy which accurately predetermined the first advent of the Messiah. He was calling the attention of the Jews and the whole world to Daniel 9:24-27.
Some have thought to undo what God fixed in the beginning. But because He is omniscient the Lord forewarned us of what would happen – in the ‘time of the end’.
“And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time (Daniel 7:25).”
“So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision (Daniel 8:17).”
Most of us have heard the expression, ‘the sands of time are running out’. I believe the hourglass or sandglass gives an accurate portrayal of how finite time is. Time is not infinite, as some would like to believe, otherwise it would be eternity.
“And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer (Revelation 10:5,6).”
Finally, I cannot over emphasize the point that God has a certain order and timetable that He is following. He has not simply abandoned our planet to the random forces of chance. There is overwhelming evidence to support this in His dealings with men. Jesus Christ is coming back on time, just like the first time. The apostle Peter, preaching in Solomon’s porch, touched on this.
“And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began (Acts 3:20,21)."
Jesus himself confirms the fact of God’s plan and sovereignty in the Past, Present and Future. But I will quote only one reference for the purpose of this article.
‘So when they met together, they asked him, "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?" He said to them: "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority” (Acts 1:6,7).’
Saints, we have precious little time. Our salvation is nearer now, than when we first believed. Let us redeem ‘the time, because the days are evil’.
“And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand (Revelation 22:10).”
May the Lord bless His word!
1 The Free Dictionary by Farlex
2 Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia
Excerpt from the book Spiritual Counsel & Nuggets: http://www.lulu.com/content/878715
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