Read Psalm 39
Focus on verse 5
What is time? Sixty seconds in a minute? Sixty minutes in an hour? Twenty-four hours in a day? Seven days in a week? Fifty-two weeks in a year? One hundred years to make a century… One hundred centuries to make a millennium. The span of my lifetime does not seem very long when held up against thousands of years of history. It seems even shorter in light of eternity. Perhaps a better question might be; why do we measure time? How does it help us to know how quickly or slowly time is passing?
It would seem from the clues we can piece together from what the Bible says about time that when we pass from this life to the next – that we pass “out of time”. One of the misconceptions of eternity is that eternity is an infinite extension of time. I believe a more accurate description of eternity might be the absence of time. In other words, eternity is not an endless amount of linier time as much as it is time ceasing to exist. In eternity it would appear that there is not a past or future tense…everything is present at the same time. I’m not certain exactly how that will work; it tends to bend my mind into contortions that don’t exactly compute. The reason we have a hard time understanding the absence of time is that for the moment – we are locked into the parameters of time and space. In eternity, when we are in the presence of God, it seems we will be released from these restrictions. Currently, however, because of our limitations we find it difficult to imagine the freedom of infinity.
In todays reading David observes the brevity of human life. He says, ‘you have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime as nothing before you.” A mere handbreadth, a shadow… seventy or eighty years on the timeline of human history barely shows up as a tiny blip. Yet the amazing thing is that despite the obscurity of our existence, God takes great interest in the life of every human being. He loves us so much that He went to great lengths to redeem us from our own destruction. I admit I find it hard to wrap my head around that idea as well, but I’m sure glad He found me and saw fit to rescue me from my path of self-destruction. For this I am truly grateful.