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God Is From Everlasting to Everlasting

(Psalm 90)

It is thought Psalm 90 was written by Moses during the time the children of Israel were in the wilderness. Based on the tenor of the Psalm, it was possibly written during a time when Moses was very discouraged. In this Psalm, the greatness of God, who is the creator and is eternal, is contrasted with the weakness and mortality of man upon this earth. After pointing out that God is our "dwelling place," the author said in verse 2, "Before the mountains were brought forth, Or ever You had formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God." Psalm 48:14 also points out, "For this is God, Our God forever and ever; He will be our guide even to death."

God is from everlasting to everlasting. From a particular point in time looking backward, God is "from everlasting," that is, He had no beginning. From a particular point looking forward, God is "to everlasting" that is, He has no end. So He is eternal which means in both directions with no beginning or end (note also I Chron 16:36, Ps. 41:13).

In contrast to God, man is mortal from the standpoint of living in his physical body upon earth (Rom. 6:12, 8:11). This is pointed out in verses 3-6 which say, "You turn man to destruction, And say, 'Return, O children of men....You carry them away like a flood; They are like a sleep. In the morning they are like grass which grows up: In the morning it flourishes and grows up; In the evening it is cut down and withers.'"

However, in contrast to his physical body, man's soul is immortal as it will never die. This is illustrated in Matthew 25:46 which points out that the righteous will face eternal reward and the wicked will face eternal punishment. The same Greek word is used here for both punishment and life. Ecclesiastes 12:7 also reveals, in describing death, "Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, And the spirit will return to God who gave it." Angels, for example, are also immortal but are not eternal. Angels are created beings (Ps. 148:1-5) having been created before God laid the foundations of the earth (Job 38:4-7) but cannot die (Lk. 20:35-36). Men and angels are immortal, but both had a beginning. God, in contrast, had no beginning; He is eternal.

Since God is eternal, He does not view time as we do. Unlike man, God is not governed by the rising and setting of the sun or by the passing of years. Note verse 4 (Ps. 90) which says, "For a thousand years in Your sight Are like yesterday when it is past, And like a watch in the night." Peter makes the same point in II Peter 3 when he said one day is with the Lord as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day. In this context, however, Peter is responding to some scoffers who were saying since Christ had not returned, He was not going to return, pointing out all things continue as they have been. Peter contended the flood illustrates the fact that there can be an interruption in the normal course of events. Also, he contended God does not count time as we do, and the passing of time does not affect the promises of God because God is eternal. They were confusing God's longsuffering and patience with slowness to keep His promises.

In summation, it is important to understand God has always existed and always will; He is eternal; He is from everlasting to everlasting. Thus, God existed prior to creation and also had the power to create the mountains and everything that pertains to the earth. We, in contrast, are merely mortal beings upon the earth. In the later part of verse 3 (Ps. 90), the writer said "YOU ARE GOD." We need to fully understand this concept and humbly apply it to our lives. God should be respected as God!

By Mike Johnson

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