Biblical Numbers

Numbers play an important role in many books of the Bible. What each means is significant for the overarching themes that connect them all. Each number has a unique meaning.

What I’ve found is a few numbers are repeated the most: 3, 6, 7, 8, 12, 40.

3 symbolizes perfection and completion. One can find it in the Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It’s also there in how long it took Abraham to travel in order to attempt sacrifice of his son Issac. Jonah was in the belly of the huge fish for 3 days. Jesus took 3 days to resurrect after His death on the cross. There are many more examples, but they all point to resurrections of sorts or a type of completion of perfection.

6 symbolizes humanity. Mankind was created in 6 days and allowed to work 6 days before resting. Slaves were allowed to be kept 6 years before being given freedom. The numbers 666 in Revelations point to an evil beast where it notes implicitly that it is the number of a man. One can also see today that carbon, the makeup of all living beings, has an atomic number 666: 6 protons, 6 electrons, and 6 neutrons.

7 symbolizes spiritual perfection or even the end. There are 7 days in a week due to creation’s time span, 7 churches, 7 spirits, and 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit. This is not to mention the 7 seals, 7 trumpets, and 7 bowls that announce the end of this heaven and earth as we know it.

8 symbolizes a new beginning. Other than the 8th day obviously being the first day of a new week, there are other examples. Newborns were to be circumcised on the 8th day, God saved 8 people from the Great Flood, and Jesus appeared 8 times after his resurrection. The New Testament has 8 authors. Jesus’ name in Greek adds up to 888.

12 symbolizes spiritual authority. There were 12 Israelite tribes, 12 judges, and 12 apostles. 12 loaves of unleavened bread needed to be presented in the temple each week. In Revelations, 12,000 of each tribe is sealed.

40 symbolizes trials. The Great Flood covered the earth 40 days and 40 nights. Moses lived 40 years away from his birth home after killing a man and was on Mount Sinai facing God for 40 days. The Israelites wandered the desert 40 years after betraying God. Jonah prophesied in Nineveh 40 days and Ezekiel slept on his right side 40 days in protest and fasting. Jesus walked the desert 40 days and 40 nights fasting before being confronted by Satan.

These are just some of the many numbers that connect stories in the Bible. The holy book is a unified whole, constantly referring back to past stories and songs. Numbers play an important role in all this.

Do you have any numbers that stand out in your own life?

God bless!

Two Jews, Three After-lifes

The other day I was struck by an article I’d read about the varied and changing views on the afterlife that Jews have held through the ages. It’s not new for believers of the same faith to believe many different things. Even in ancient times, this was the case. In fact, rabbis made debate a sport in their temples. Amongst the “laymen,” there were even more disagreement as some were not believers (aka culturally Jewish only) and some were not educated in the Torah to any great extent. One person in the article stated that there’s a old saying about the many views they hold on death: two Jews, three after-lifes.

In this article, there were many views, and one had written that they felt ancient Jews believed dust-to-dust meant that we cease existence entirely, at which point God forgets us. I didn’t believe that, but it hurt me for some strange reason. I started to wonder about afterlife in the Bible. I worried on the subject all day (as I’m a worrier).

Finally, I did what I should’ve done from the beginning, and I spoke to God (I’m a slow learner sometimes). The Holy Spirit spoke to me immediately as if He were waiting all day for me to listen. He said do you believe I’m a good God? Did you believe me the many times I said you are my children and I’m your father and I love you as a father in the Bible? Then, would you believe I would ever forget one of my children even willingly? Do you think I would not grieve them and miss them? Do you think that I, an omnipotent father, would not bring them back to my arms once I’ve readied a Safe place for them? Wouldn’t you as a mother? Even humans who are not as good as I nor as perfectly loving would do this. How much more I?

“…and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.” Ecclesiastes 12:7

“In My Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and welcome you into My presence, so that you also may be where I am…” John 14:2

“Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgement…” Hebrews 9:27

“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die…” John 11:25

“Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear His voice and come out – those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned.” John 5:28-29

If you worry that, even if you are saved, you may die to live in a gray formless void (like Hades), burn in torment, or even subsist in a boring eternity of harps and fluffy clouds, why would you think God wouldn’t know your deepest needs and desires? He made you, and He would know how to give you more than you ever could wish or imagine.

“What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? So if you who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?” Luke 11:11

God bless!

Abortion and Dusty Water

First, before all, this applies to all of my posts: I don’t know your heart, but God does. He know your past and future actions. And guess what? He loves you anyway. If you were brought to a point in life this was a choice you’ve made, I’m so sorry you’ve had to deal with that. I know it must’ve been a difficult decision. My heart goes out to you, love. Take this as a study of the Word, and bring it to God. He is full of compassion for you.

Recently, the Supreme Court here in the U.S. overturned the Roe vs Wade law that supported the right to legal abortions at a federal level. Now, the states are the ones who decide the perimeters, legalities, and definitions of abortions.

As with anything, we should not look to our political parties, friends, families, or even our feelings alone to determine our view of the world. What is abortion to God, and what does He feel on the subject?

“If people are fighting and hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows. But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.”

Exodus 21:22-25

The above quote does indeed show an idea that there is a distinct separation of the life of the woman and that of the baby. However, it seems to only apply to others hurting the baby, not the woman herself. This verse is tucked in between verses concerning injuries or death done to slaves, which, in context, seems to look at the baby as property as it clearly views the slaves. Maybe we should see what it says about injury or death done to someone’s own slaves?

“When a man strikes his slave, male or female, with a rod and the slave dies under his hand, he shall be avenged. But if the slave survives a day or two, he is not to be avenged, for the slave is his money.”

Exodus 21:20-21

Okay, so the fact of a baby being looked upon as essentially property doesn’t exclude punishment in case of the owner killing him or her.* However, it definitely seems more lenient, possibly to exclude situations where the owner intended severe injury and not death. It’s harsh either way.

Let’s look at an oft quoted verse about the punishment of an adulteress.

“The priest is to write these curses on a scroll and then wash them off into the bitter water. He shall make the woman drink the bitter water that brings a curse, and this water that brings a curse and causes bitter suffering will enter her…he is to have the woman drink the water. If she has made herself impure and been unfaithful to her husband, this will be the result: When she is made to drink the water that brings a curse and causes bitter suffering, it will enter her, her abdomen will swell and her womb will miscarry, and she will become a curse. If, however, the woman has not made herself impure, but is clean, she will be cleared of guilt and will be able to have children…”

Numbers 5:11-31

If you’re like me, you’re thinking that this all sounds very… esoteric. It sounds like magic. I’m not sure what exactly is in this bitter water that would only kill a baby born of adultery, other than the hand of God. In other words, this death is not by man’s hand because the ingredients of this bitter concoction is water and dust. Since this was only done in situations when the adulteress was not caught and she did not confess, I personally wonder if this was usually an act done to clear the unsubstantiated jealousy of her husband.

There are several instances in the Bible where annihilation of a tribe or people in warfare may have been deemed ordered by God, and in many, the babies, even those in wombs, were not excluded in the deaths. These are actions only done by order of God, not based on a decision by humans, which would clearly be considered murder.

Read the Bible, pray to God, and see the answers God gives you for yourself. From my studies so far, it appears a few facts on abortion are illuminated by God’s Word. God hates death of any kind, but in some very necessary circumstances, it appears to be ordered by God for the good of the rest of humanity. Babies in the womb are property of the woman and her husband (if she’s married) and are not equal to the lives of their parents. However, they are still looked at as a separate life deemed worthy to be protected, with those who are harmful to them deserving of punishment (the parents themselves or others). In cases where the life of the woman carrying the baby is put in danger, it seems very clear to me God would support the termination of the baby to continue the life of the woman.

I won’t speak in light of rape cases of healthy adult women or incest as these seem case by case gray areas you should speak with God about, and I don’t know enough about those situations to feel comfortable settling on a verdict. I can’t find anything specifying abortion in those situations in the Bible, but if you have, please let me know for further study.

In any other case, it appears God would need to speak directly to you and order the death of your baby to make it an innocent act, and that can only be done with a drink of water and dust in a temple by a priest… so, take this how you will.

God bless.

* I’ll be writing a post about slavery in a near-future post. Keep an eye out!


Photo by Pixabay on

Hello there. It’s been over a year since I’ve written a post, but you, dear reader, have been weighing on my mind the whole time, believe me. I’ve felt a bit like I’ve failed us both. I have no idea if I ever succeeded in being a light on a hill for you or a sister speaking comfort in a world of darkness. However, if I have, as I hoped, I pray you forgive my silence.

My mother died. It’s even painful to write it. She had 4th stage cancer for two years, so I believe I’d been grieving for awhile before she actually left us. The crazy thing about grief, I’ve learned, is that it affects us in ways you can’t prepare for. When you heard from me last, I was in denial. Then, within weeks of her passing, I knew. It hit me when she spent only 15 mins out of bed to see us before returning to bed once again. I cried in the bathroom. Started having anxiety attacks every time I’d leave my parent’s house. Then, she died. I floated in a fog for awhile, but I suddenly handled everything weirdly well… I thought.

I love writing, but I haven’t written since last year in the midst of the anxiety and denial. I’ve tried and failed with different types of writing and then stopped trying. I can even do other types of creative projects like sketching, but words are blocked. It’s like trying to get water from the wrong side of a dammed river. I’ve heard of the stages of grief being sadness, anger, denial, bargaining, etc., but I’ve never heard of the stage of silence.

To write a post about grief from the perspective of God’s Word, I had to be selective in which verses to include because there are so very, very many. God has a lot to say about death and grief. I like a few in particular because it’s as much about the mourner as it is about the one we mourn.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

John 14:27

“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me will live, even though they die. Everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

John 11:25-26

These verses are full of hope and comfort, not only for our present life, but hope that our loved ones never truly die if they lived in God. There’s so many of Yahweh’s people who grieved in the Bible, as well: Job, David, Naomi, even Jesus, who has the shortest sentence in the Bible devoted to the mourning of His friend.*

“Jesus wept.”

John 11:35

Really, that’s the one that means the most to me. We’re not alone in our grief. There is no one in the universe who loves you and your loved ones more than God. He hates death. He hates that your loved one died. He hates that you are in pain. Yes, God hates. He hates evil, and evil brought death into our world, but he’s got a plan.

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

Revelation 21:4

So, if you’re grieving, like I am, hold onto the knowledge that your loved one is simply on a new adventure, one by God’s side, one without the pain and heartache we experience here. Make new memories and adventures to perhaps tell them about when you see them one day. Have faith the size of a mustard seed, and go forward in life with confidence in this truth. Grief is an amorphous creature that takes many shapes, but trust that God knows it well. You can’t and shouldn’t try to handle it alone.

I’ve successfully written this, so maybe this dammed river will flow again soon. God bless.

*I have a whole post dedicated to why God would cry over a death if He knew He’d resurrect him soon. Read Here


Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

1 Peter 5:8

There are shadows in the world today, appearing and disappearing, flitting from here to there. They can be hard to grasp or understand, but their darkness has poured onto every street and home. Yet, it seems, the light of the God burns brighter for it.

One shadow is disease and death.

During the Black Plague, people would allegedly see a figure standing at the edges of towns: a dark, hooded cloak, a sickle in hand. Just after, the town would be overrun with the disease, wiping out so many, coffins and bodies would line the street because they were unable to bury them fast enough. This is where many believe the Grim Reaper image originated (Brittanica).

We are faced with a worldwide pandemic. Whether you believe it’s a real issue or not, the world is being chased down by physical death on all sides. It summons fear, and fear can summon strange behaviors in its desperation for survival.

One shadow is confusion and chaos.

“It hurt itself in its confusion!” This message in the Pokemon game appears when a pokemon, magically confused, hurts itself instead of the enemy as intended. This is exactly what evil wants: for us to be confused, hurt ourselves and our unity, and be so divided that it doesn’t have to do a thing to bring us down. There so many Bible verses about avoiding division, it would take an entire post to deal with it (maybe I should). Here’s one:

I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.

Romans 16:17-18

Is it ok to disagree, to be passionate in a cause that we may disagree in, or protest wrongs? Of course! Jesus did so in many ways, but notably, when He chased merchants from His temple with a hand-made whip. However, watch for when others push you to turn against others. It’s a typical tactic for abusers and manipulators, as when you’re apart, you’re more likely to be persuaded.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Ephesians 6:12

So, here is the point of today’s post: there are many hidden powers in the world, and they’re spoken about in the Bible in many ways. They’re ancient and cunning, and they use the powerful and weak alike in their need for domination. Jesus already died on the cross; He already took away our chains to those powers. You are responsible for continuing to follow God and using His light to see through and clear out the shadows as you cross them. Speak God’s truth, live it, and don’t build your foundations on the worldly confusion and fear that is like quicksand.

God bless!


Why do you complain to him that he responds to no one’s words? For God does speak – now one way, now another – though no one perceives it.

Job 23:13-14

The world, I believe, is receiving a lesson on listening.

Sometimes, I really long to speak with God, not just pray to Him but hear from Him. Just the other day, I sat outside in the sunshine to eat my lunch while reading Lord of the Rings (I have never read it, just watched the movies). It came to a part where the wizard was rushing out of Frodo’s home, and he promised that although he’d never openly visit again, he would come see Frodo when he least expected it.

“Like me,” I felt God say.

This feeling made me stop my reading and look up. Like Frodo with the wizard, I didn’t want God to just say those words and leave. I wanted Him to stay and converse with me, but I had a sinking feeling that was all He would say.

Then, I noticed the sunlight glinted off the grass as it swayed in the warm breeze, the sound of cars sweeping down our road up front, and the smell of my coffee as I sipped it. The difference, He seemed to say through His creations, between Frodo’s wizard and I, is I never leave. I’m always there in a million subtle ways. Why chatter on incessantly when we can just be together?

For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.

Psalm 62:5

I think, during this time of social distancing and standstill, the world is learning to listen: to the rhythm of nature, to the heartbeat of their family, to the essence of what makes us human, to the foundations of our world, to the voice of God even in the silence.

Through the news, social media, and various other outlets, I see people talking about community, family, God, and the care of Earth more than I ever did before. The center of the universe has been shaken a bit from ourselves and shallow entertainment. It took the world being put on quarantine to make it happen.

So, whether you’re still busy or being forced to take a Great Pause, take a moment to really listen out for God’s voice, and realize that maybe He speaks to you by simply remaining by your side through it all.

And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

Matthew 28:20

God bless!

What Remains

If you’re anything like me, you’ve already read too many articles about the era of history unfolding before us. It’s a strange time to live, and it came so suddenly upon us, I think most of us are still reeling from the changes that this virus, the lockdowns, and just the fear have brought to the world. That’s the thing though, right? This concerns the entire world. I know I’m young(ish), but I don’t recall any single event affecting the entire world so abruptly and at the same time.

We’re all realizing how connected we all are. If such a terrible thing like this virus can spread so quickly from person to person across the globe, then so can a wondrous thing like love, kindness, compassion, and hope. What if, when you serve your neighbor, that joyful servitude spreads, infectious with love, to a child in Japan within a month or two? We usually never know because the CDC doesn’t report spreading acts of compassion, we don’t pause our daily lives for the bellies filled or the smiles created, and we don’t have world-wide counts on the re-born rates of children of God.

I lay in my hammock yesterday realizing something about all of this. I’ve never felt more like a child since I was an actual child. It’s a weird thing to feel, now, during all of this. I used to play all day, from sunrise to sunset if I could, outside, barefoot and dirty. Now, when I step outside I notice that the world of nature hasn’t changed in the face of the news. The birds still sing over the warmer weather. The flowers have been blooming, bringing the joyful buzz of bees. Some days it rains, and the smell brings me back to memories of sitting on my parent’s porch with the wind chimes ringing in the storms.

I always feel closer to God when in nature. When I’m inside, I feel Him too, but I’m distracted by all the man-made stuff, chattering TV, the chores left to do. When I’m outside, I sense Him in His creation, things going on as they have been when He set them in motion. He can be seen in His creation, too. His hope in reflected in the erupting colors of spring, His calm in the gentle, warm breeze. You can feel how solid He is if you stand, barefoot, on the soil and watch His smile in the cotton clouds above.

I guess I’m writing this to tell you that we’re all feeling super complex feelings about this. It’s temporary; this will pass, but difficult times always feel like they’ll last forever. We’re all grieving the loss of control we thought we had over our lives. We’re all anxious sometimes of what tomorrow will bring. The emotions sometimes hit me out of nowhere. You’re not alone; but you’re probably just realizing this more than ever. Everything you do affects the whole world, at some point. We’ve never been in control. God has been this whole time, still is, and He is calm, hopeful, loving, and reaching out to you whatever you’re feeling. Even if all else fell away, He would remain.

Maybe step outside, take your shoes off to feel the ground beneath your feet, and speak to Him.

God bless!

Lost that Loving Feeling

Have you ever heard someone say that God is silent? Or maybe He doesn’t answer his or her prayers? Did they say they’ve been searching for Him, but He seems absent?

The fact that they feel a lack is a good sign they haven’t grown complacent to a distant relationship with God. If they’ve been searching and praying, God has been showing up and answering. The question is, why don’t they see or hear Him in their lives? Why can’t they feel Him anymore?

He exists and loves you external to and despite your feelings. Whether you perceive Him or “feel” anything in relation to Him doesn’t change the fact He is there, always moving, speaking, and reaching out to you. Consider the oxygen around you. If you didn’t know it existed, would you be unable to breathe? Does it change its existence. No, the truth remains outside of our perception or acceptance. It just is.

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.

1 John 4:16

The hard fact about God’s love is that more than just a feeling. It’s an action. If you don’t sense God or feel as though He’s distant, consider that maybe you’re the one who walked off. Walk your way back, and the best way to do that is be called into action to show your love for Him and His creation. Volunteer, donate, spread comfort, love, and cheer to others, tell others of your love for Him, whatever you do, do it in Love. You’ll find Him there.

You should be aware that you’re not the only one to have felt this way. In fact, it is said David (God said he was a man after His own heart) wrote this psalm:

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
    Why are you so far from saving me,
    so far from my cries of anguish?
My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
    by night, but I find no rest
Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;
    you are the one Israel praises.
In you our ancestors put their trust;
    they trusted and you delivered them.
To you they cried out and were saved;
    in you they trusted and were not put to shame.
But I am a worm and not a man,
    scorned by everyone, despised by the people.
All who see me mock me;
    they hurl insults, shaking their heads.
“He trusts in the Lord,” they say,
    “let the Lord rescue him.
Let him deliver him,
    since he delights in him.”
Yet you brought me out of the womb;
    you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast.
10 From birth I was cast on you;
    from my mother’s womb you have been my God.
11 Do not be far from me,
    for trouble is near
    and there is no one to help.
12 Many bulls surround me;
    strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.
13 Roaring lions that tear their prey
    open their mouths wide against me.
14 I am poured out like water,
    and all my bones are out of joint.
My heart has turned to wax;
    it has melted within me.
15 My mouth is dried up like a potsherd,
    and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth;
    you lay me in the dust of death.
16 Dogs surround me,
    a pack of villains encircles me;
    they pierce my hands and my feet.
17 All my bones are on display;
    people stare and gloat over me.
18 They divide my clothes among them
    and cast lots for my garment.
19 But you, Lord, do not be far from me.
    You are my strength; come quickly to help me.
20 Deliver me from the sword,
    my precious life from the power of the dogs.
21 Rescue me from the mouth of the lions;
    save me from the horns of the wild oxen.
22 I will declare your name to my people;
    in the assembly I will praise you.
23 You who fear the Lord, praise him!
    All you descendants of Jacob, honor him!
    Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!
24 For he has not despised or scorned
    the suffering of the afflicted one;
he has not hidden his face from him
    but has listened to his cry for help.
25 From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly;
    before those who fear you I will fulfill my vows.
26 The poor will eat and be satisfied;
    those who seek the Lord will praise him—
    may your hearts live forever!
27 All the ends of the earth
    will remember and turn to the Lord,
and all the families of the nations
    will bow down before him,
28 for dominion belongs to the Lord
    and he rules over the nations.
29 All the rich of the earth will feast and worship;
    all who go down to the dust will kneel before him—
    those who cannot keep themselves alive.
30 Posterity will serve him;
    future generations will be told about the Lord.
31 They will proclaim his righteousness,
    declaring to a people yet unborn:
    He has done it!
Psalm 22

God answered many times during David’s time, which he speaks of in his other Psalms. However, He answered again, this time to all of humanity who felt this way. Notice Jesus mentions this psalm when He hung on the cross:

From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

Matthew 27: 45-46

He feels the cries of countless souls who suffer in this fallen world, and in answer, He dies to save them from the darkness. Know that although David felt unheard at times, God heard and remembered.

I know many are having a hard time lately with all that’s going on in the world, but know that despite your feelings, God loves you and is still reaching out to you. Know in your heart that He hears and answers. It may not be the answer you like, and it may not come when you want it, but God knows better than any of us. You’ll find it was the right answer and the right timing. Please love one another in action, not just emotion. We all need each other more than ever.

God bless!

Middle Eastern Revival

Christian Revival In Unlikely Places

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”

~Mark 16:15

There have been rumors from various sources of a Middle Eastern Christian revival in countries as anti-Christian as Iran. Please pray for our brothers and sisters of God as they strive to simply follow their path toward God and gather in secret groups to worship while avoiding the law. It is illegal to preach and convert people to Christianity in Iran. Church services in the national language are forbidden. Yet, still, a revival has been sweeping the country, and converts have been fleeing to surrounding countries in order to live in safety:

Yet, the influx of Christians are beginning to burden Turkey, and there is fear that their welcome won’t be for long. Many are under the risk of being deported back to Iran where they could face jail, torture, or death due to their beliefs:

A major distributor of Bibles and Biblical materials to various countries (Eastern European Mission – although they aren’t solely for Eastern European countries anymore) reported that some anti-Christian countries (for obvious reasons they aren’t specific) have groups begging for Bibles in their language and books for their children to teach them the Word. There is a desperate cry for God coming up from these persecuted lands!

In fact, there have been a flood of people reporting dreams and visions, most of them featuring a man who calls Himself Yeshua who guides them to people who can share the gospel. It has become so common that in more open countries, like Turkey, there have been billboards asking if anyone has had a vision or dream and who they can contact to receive the gospel (nakedbiblepodcast).

Sometimes, we can take for granted, especially here in the U.S., our religious freedom. Please pray for those of us who live in fear. May they be able to simply love Him and guide others to love Yahweh.

God bless!

Sources other than the Bible: (episode 305

How does God see Time?

What is Time according to God?

A seven day week can be found in both Jewish and Babylonian cultures. Most sources will state that the seven day week originated with Babylon since they have written accounts of that measurement of time going back about 3000 years. They would, of course, scoff at using a religious document like the Torah, which goes back just as far, to justify the origin being with Jews or even a simultaneous idea that originated with both cultures. Days, months, and years all correspond to natural phenomena. The week does not. All efforts to explain how this came to be (as separate from God speaking to the Hebrews) are very speculative.

No matter; Yahweh approved the seven day week since creation when He took six days (starting sun down and ending with the next sun down) to create the world and the seventh to enjoy His creation. Since then, Jews and then Christians, along with many other cultures as they came across those peoples, follow a seven day week.

It all makes you think: God made the week an important concept (particularly the seventh day)for humanity along with a host of annual festivals and holy days. It’s obvious the cyclical nature of these observances are there to remind us continually of various lessons, comforts, and warnings. However, was there more to it all? Does it give us an idea of how God perceives time itself?

Lord, You have been our dwelling place

through all generations.

Before the mountains were born

or You brought forth the earth and world,

from everlasting to everlasting,

You are God.

You return man to dust,

saying, “Return, O sons of mortals.”

For in Your sight a thousand years

are but a day that passes,

or a watch of the night.

You whisk them away in their sleep;

they are like the new grass of the morning—

in the morning it springs up new,

but by evening it fades and withers. – Psalm 90:1-6

What does a man gain from all his labor,

at which he toils under the sun?

Generations come and generations go,

but the earth remains forever.

The sun rises and the sun sets;

it hurries back to where it arose.

Blowing southward,

then turning northward,

round and round the wind swirls,

ever returning on its course.

All the rivers flow into the sea,

yet the sea is never full;

to the place from which the streams come,

there again they flow.

All things are wearisome,

more than one can describe;

the eye is not satisfied with seeing,

nor the ear content with hearing.

What has been will be again,

and what has been done will be done again;

there is nothing new under the sun.

Is there a case where one can say,

“Look, this is new”?

It has already existed

in the ages before us.

There is no remembrance

of those who came before,

and those to come will not be remembered

by those who follow after. – Eccles 1:3-11

Beloved, do not let this one thing escape your notice: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. – 2 Peter 3:8

One thing is obvious: we are all but a moment to the eternity of God. Can you imagine every time you love someone, they pass away the next moment? Of course, God is determined to not allow that to happen. As the scripture states, God wants very badly for no one to die the second death of the soul. He wants us to all exist forever with Him and love Him and each other. Some of us are just as determined to not exist one day. This grieves Him greatly.

Another thing is true: to God, nothing is new. Everything that was returns again because humanity has bad memories and worse will powers to resist repeating our offensive histories. In that manner, all of existence is cyclical. That’s one reason why God wants us to remember cyclically whose children we are and how deeply He loves us.

Let’s look at the Sabbath He instituted. It’s a continual reminder of many things: our blessings, our day to day hustle for progress and more is not important in the grand scheme, and we are not in control. The Bible Project Podcast (check out episode 159) brought up this last point. The Sabbath is inconvenient on purpose. We have to stop everything we’re doing and pause. It is in this we can finally realize that we are never in control of our time. It exists to serve God, and as we all know, our best plans can be laid to waste quite easily. Yet, our plans are not as good as God’s. God is in control, and that’s the best thing.

Time is such an abstract concept. Some cultures in the world don’t even recognize a past or future in the sense we do like the Amondawa tribe. Many countries like the U.S., Germany, northern Europeans, etc., have a linear idea of time. The past flows out behind us and the future before us, and time can be equivalent to the idea of money. We can waste time or invest it. Punctuality is key.

Many Southern European, South Americans, and Middle Easterners have a multi-active idea of time. In other words, time passing is not bound to a calendar or clock. It doesn’t have firm boundaries and either conforms to the person and events or is dispensed with entirely. It’s not that they don’t have a linear idea of time so much as it’s not as firm and unchanging. It stretches between events rather than between blocks on a schedule.

Eastern countries see time as cyclic. The past will also be the future, so they can never waste it, simply apply patience for it to return. However, China is very time-aware. They also look at time as an investment into relationships even in businesses. Japanese have a sense of time “unfolding,” as if unwrapping a gift or peeling an onion with many layers.

Now, Madagascar see the future as something that flows from behind and is laid out before them as the past, since the past is the only thing one truly sees. Since the future can not be truly planned for, businesses run differently. Buses leave, not at specific times, but when they are full, stock is refilled once empty, and gas replenished in cars once empty.

It is my belief that God is outside of any concept of time. However, in as much as time exists, He, as an eternal being and as evidenced through various parts of the Bible, must see events returning time and again just with different people and places. Although it is cyclical, in a sense, there is also a past (which must be accounted for and remembered as His various observances note) and a future before us controlled only by Him. Our sense of time is not His as our thousand years are a day to Him and a day to us is a thousand years to Him. In other words, time is of no consequence to Him. Our past, present, and future are all laid before Him at once.

Don’t worry dear soul, about tomorrow. As they say, God is already there.

God bless!

Sources other than Bible:

The 2 Concepts of Time in the Bible