‘To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.’ (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
Time is one of the mysteries of God’s creation. God created all things, including time (Genesis 2:1-3). God has always existed. He doesn’t change. He exists in time and outside of time. He is eternal (Psalm 90:1, 2; 1 Timothy 1:17).
Philosophers and scientists over the ages have come up with their theories as to the nature of time. Without a universal means of accurately measuring time it would be impossible to organise life as we practise it today. The extremely accurate and reliable atomic clock has made this possible.
In-built within us there is an unconscious rhythmical time clock that regulates the functions of mind and body (Psalm 139:13-16). We are not nocturnal. We do not function at our best during the hours of darkness. God made us to be active during daylight hours, and to be inactive at night while we sleep (Psalm 104:23). Rest and sleep are necessary for our wellbeing and our general health.
From conception in the womb a lifetime clock is activated. A newly born baby has soft and delicate skin, and as he or she matures, their skin begins to show signs of ageing. In old age their skin becomes wrinkled and their hair goes grey. Such features give an indication as to the age of a person.
We can measure time by generations. In Abraham’s time a generation was an hundred years (Genesis 15:16). In Deuteronomy 2:14 a generation is recorded as being 38 years. Psalm 90:10 states: ‘The days of our lives are seventy years; and if by reason of strength they are eighty years; yet their boast is only labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.’
We can also measure time by memories. We remember certain events and have rough ideas as to when they occurred. Some events may be etched on our minds, so that we precisely remember the day, the year and the time. Memory recollection is useful for appreciating the continuum of our lives from the time of our first memory to the present.
Time is precious to all who live. There is one life to be lived while on the earth, and afterwards another, either in heaven or in hell (Hebrews 9:27). The author of Ecclesiastes points out there are seasons for doing certain things in our lives (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8), and in another section he poetically and graphically describes what happens to us in old age (Ecclesiastes 12:1-5).
Ephesians 5:15-21 tells Christians they are to ‘redeem the time’ (Colossians 4:5), because the days are evil, and the call of a believer is to understand the will of God; accordingly they are to live holy, loving and thankful lives in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 5:20).
‘Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil (Ecclesiastes 12:13,14).’
Time as we know it, will come to an end (2 Peter 3:10).