Jump Start # 2680
2 Peter 3:8 “But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”
Some verses in our Bible are so plain and easy to see. Then there are passages, that the principle is clear, but it’s just hard for us to put our minds around that idea. Our verse today is like that. Peter is saying that time means nothing to God. One day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day. What extremes those are, 24 hours compared to 87 million, 6 hundred thousand hours.
Old to us is nothing to God. A long time ago for us is nothing to God. Ancient history is not ancient to God. As I write this, I look around my office at what I consider old, other than looking in a mirror. I have several books printed in the 1800’s. I have an arrowhead in my desk that is very old. But none of those things are old to God.
Within the context, Peter is answering critics who claim that Jesus isn’t coming. Nothing has changed. Nothing ever changes. Everything is the same. It’s always the same. And, in saying these things, they were denying what the Lord said, what the apostles had written and were upsetting the faith of some. These critics had no Biblical evidence for their theories. Their only position was that nothing has changed. And, Peter reminds them first, that they do not understand history. The world has changed. There was creation, then there was a flood. That flood changed everything. The present world is awaiting fire and complete destruction. But, a second point that the critics forgot was that time is nothing to God. In the minds of the critics everything remains the same. But to God, just yesterday, was the flood. And, to God, just tomorrow will be the coming of the Lord. Now, for us on this planet, those two events may be separated by thousands of years, but it’s just yesterday with God.
A thousand years ago, the date was 1020. This country was occupied by native Americans. In Europe at that time, life was nobles and peasants. Survival was the main thought for many people. Many babies died in infancy. Diseases often wiped out villages. Sanitation, diets, and transportation was very primitive. Life was tough. At that point in history, powerful regions were dominated by an apostate church that held a tight grip on the people. Life was hard. And, since that time, there have been wars, famines, diseases, disasters, political turmoil, the rising and falling of nations, and yet the kingdom of God survived and all of that was just yesterday with God.
What lessons do we learn from the one and thousand principle?
First, God doesn’t forget His promises. That’s Peter’s point. God said it and we may think He forgot, but He hasn’t. The next verse states that God is not slow about His promise. God keeps His promises. You and I forget that we made promises. We break our promises. We say things with no intention of keeping them. Not God.
Second, God doesn’t forget His people. Aside from a few kings and warriors, most of us could not name anyone from a thousand years ago. Most could not trace their family history back that far. But within those villages spread throughout Europe, there were disciples who walked by faith in those dark and difficult times. God has not forgotten them. Although we don’t know them, God does. And, sprinkled throughout all of time, there has been those who hearts were devoted to the Lord. Their names have been forgotten to all but God. And, if this world continues on, generations from now, we won’t be remembered. However, God will. He knows your prayers. He knows your heart. He knows what you have done for the kingdom.
Third, God’s timetable is not ours. That is another powerful lesson that Peter is trying to get the people to understand. Our timetable and how soon we think things ought to be is not the Lord’s. God promised Abram a child. Twenty-five years passed by before that was fulfilled. Did God forget? No. It was all in His plans. You and I pray and we expect an answer immediately. Sometimes God does that. When Hezekiah was told that he was going to die, he turned to the wall and prayed. Before the prophet left the palace, God had him turn around and go back to the king with the answer to his prayer. It happens fast sometimes. But, sometimes it doesn’t happen fast, at least to us. We pray and nothing. We pray again, and nothing. We start to wonder. Is it us? Did we do something wrong to upset God? Did we say something wrong in the prayer? We analyze and over think things and just wonder why God isn’t answering our prayer. It just may be that things are not according to His time.
We pray for a son or daughter to straighten out their lives and come back to the Lord. We wait and wait and see no positive results. We may even pass from this life, but that doesn’t mean that God isn’t doing anything. In His time, He does.
We pray for the church to be strong. God wants that. We may not see it in our time, but God has His time. We must not get discouraged and believe that God isn’t listening or caring. Things fall in His time according to His plans and not ours.
One day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like one day. Beautiful concept. Eternal God. Faithful, through and through.