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Question: “What is God’s relationship to time?”

Answer: We live in a physical world with its four known space-time dimensions of length, width, height (or depth) and time. However, God dwells in a different dimension—the spirit realm—beyond the perception of our physical senses. It’s not that God isn’t real; it’s a matter of His not being limited by the physical laws and dimensions that govern our world (Isaiah 57:15). Knowing that “God is spirit” (John 4:24), what is His relationship to time?

In Psalm 90:4, Moses used a simple yet profound analogy in describing the timelessness of God: “For a thousand years in Your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.” The eternity of God is contrasted with the temporality of man. Our lives are but short and frail, but God does not weaken or fail with the passage of time.

In a sense, the marking of time is irrelevant to God because He transcends it. Peter, in 2 Peter 3:8, cautioned his readers not to let this one critical fact escape their notice—that God’s perspective on time is far different from mankind’s (Psalm 102:12, 24-27). The Lord does not count time as we do. He is above and outside of the sphere of time. God sees all of eternity’s past and eternity’s future. The time that passes on earth is of no consequence from God’s timeless perspective. A second is no different from an eon; a billion years pass like seconds to the eternal God.

Though we cannot possibly comprehend this idea of eternity or the timelessness of God, we in our finite minds try to confine an infinite God to our time schedule. Those who foolishly demand that God operate according to their time frame ignore the fact that He is the “High and Lofty One . . . who lives forever” (Isaiah 57:15). This description of God is far removed from man’s condition: “The length of our days is seventy years—or eighty, if we have the strength; yet their span is but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away” (Psalm 90:10).