Bible Insights

What’s a Thousand Years to God?

Time Is Different in the Spiritual Realm Than in the Physical

Though King David wrote many psalms, the book of Psalms also includes the work of others. One of these writers is Moses. Yes, Moses wrote a psalm, Psalm 90.

It may be the oldest of them all, the first Psalm ever written in the Bible. Also consider Moses’s song in Deuteronomy 32:1-43 and his blessing in Deuteronomy 33:2-29.

What Moses Says about Time

One of Moses’s themes is time. He tells us to number our days so that we might gain wisdom. He also says that people tend to live seventy years, perhaps eighty.

This is interesting since Moses lived 120. He lived forty years in Egypt, forty years in preparation, and forty years leading God’s people. I wonder how old he was when he wrote this Psalm.

However, Moses also writes that to God a thousand years flashes by like a day would seem to us. So it is with our God who is eternal, who lives forever.

Think about it. Time takes on a different meaning to someone who has a never-ending supply of it. But to us time places limits on our physical existence and on our future.

That’s probably why Moses wants us to count our days to remind us of our typical lifespan. We need to use that time wisely and make it count. We only have so much of it., so we don’t want to squander it.

This doesn’t mean to pack every moment with busy activity, but to use our time wisely, investing in pursuits that matter, on what will have the greatest impact.

Peter Writes about a Thousand Years

The disciple Peter has this passage in mind when he pens his second letter. He builds upon Moses’s thought and says that to God a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day. This is a perplexing contrast.

It reminds us that God doesn’t reckon time as we do. In fact, God exists outside of time because he created time when he made space and the world we live in.

May we spend our time on what truly matters.

[Read through the Bible with us this year. Today’s reading is Psalms 86-90, and today’s post is on Psalm 90:4.]

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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