Christian Church – What is time? Not “What time is it?” but what actually is time itself? Time is a measurement of movement. We are in a universe of movement. The earth moves around the sun at a speed of 19.2 miles per second. And it takes a year to make the entire trip around the sun. Time was created for us on the fourth day of creation, according to Genesis 1. God put the great lights in the sky, to give us “times and seasons and days and years.”
The sun appears to us to move from the east to the west. The reality, of course, is that the earth is turning on its axis. The earth turns at about a rate of 1000 miles per hour at the equator. The moon and earth spiral around each other in space, the moon moving much more than the earth as it rotates around the earth. The movement of the tides gives evidence of this. It’s a little like the sloshing of water as you turn a pan of water. Of course, there is much more to this balance of the earth, moon and sun.
Without time, we would not know when to go to work, or to rest, or to make plans for the future. We humans seem to move through time, from the past to the present into the future. But if my understanding of God is correct, and I believe it is, as far as I understand him at all—God is beyond time. He does not pass through time as we seem to. He is rather Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last. Rather, the Psalmist says, “from everlasting to everlasting, you are God.” God is not limited to time as we are. He is transcendent, above time and space. But he is also immanent, within time and space. He is unlimited! “Before Abraham came into being, I AM,” he said.
Besides this, God invaded our history. First he created everything. Then he walked with Adam and Eve in the garden. He appeared to Abraham. He was the “Fear of Isaac,” and somehow he wrestled with Jacob. He came into our time and space in order to reveal himself to us. You want proof of God? To me, the very best evidence is circumcision. Israel was a patriarchal culture; men ruled and owned everything, even their wives (they thought). No mere man would ever invent circumcision! It is a very painful (and today, expensive) operation. At the time of Abraham, no one had a scalpel or a medical degree. They had only flint knives. The first mention of circumcision ever in history is in Genesis 17:10. Abraham was 99 years old. He had 318 trained men in his camp. God told him to circumcise all those men, including himself. Then from that time on, God said to do circumcision on the eighth day. Even Jesus was circumcised on the eighth day, Luke tells us. That was the first time his blood was shed.
What is the seventh day?
The seventh day is the special day in Judaism. Why was circumcision to be on the eighth day? According to the book, None of These Diseases, written by two M. D.’s, on the eighth day the fibrinogen level in the blood—the clotting agent—is higher than at any other time in the baby’s life. Since God created us, he knows us completely. He knew that the eighth day was the safest day for circumcision. From that time on, Isaac and every other Jewish boy was circumcised on the eighth day. So if you want proof of God, look at circumcision.
According to II Peter, time means nothing to God. We get hints of that in the Hebrew Bible as well. “A thousand years is like a day,…like a watch in the night.” God doesn’t need time. He created it as a gift for us.
Paul the Apostle wrote, “Redeem the time, because the days are evil.” We should use our time to help others and to get to know God better. According to Jesus (John 17), knowing God and his son Jesus Christ is eternal life. For us, time has a beginning and an ending. But if we believe in Jesus, we don’t have to worry about time. We will live forever.