The ABC’s of knowing God better: the letter E
Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there he called on the name of the LORD, the Eternal One. – Genesis 21:33 (NIV)
He has also set eternity in the hearts of men. – Ecclesiastes 3:11b (NIV)
There’s a scene in Macbeth in which Shakespeare, who wrote the play to get on the good side of King James I, uses an apparition of a line of eight kings, the last one holding a mirror, to imply that the family of James I would hold the throne forever.
Forever. Eternity. That’s a long time. In fact, it isn’t time. Because time is measured – in seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, decades, centuries, millennia. Eternity cannot be measured. There is no time as we know it in eternity.
The apostle Peter tried to explain it when he wrote, “With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day” (2 Peter 3:8).
We’ve come to the letter “E” in our series of knowing God better using the letters of the alphabet.
God is ETERNAL. His being spans past, present and future. “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” he says in Revelation, “the One who is, who was, and who is to come” (1:8).
God had no beginning. He always has been.
God IS, present tense. Contrary to the belief of nineteenth century German philosopher Freidrich Nietzsche, which has echoed down through the centuries, God is not dead.
God will always be. A mirror facing a mirror into infinity.
What does this have to do with us?
For the answer, I turn to God’s Word:
“He has placed eternity in the hearts of men” (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
“The LORD God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being” (Genesis 2:7).
God Himself breathed life into us.
We are not just physical bodies walking around on the planet. We are also mental beings because we have a brain. We are emotional beings because we have a heart that feels joy and pain and everything in between. We are spiritual beings because we have a soul that God breathed into us, a spirit that is restless and empty until we anchor ourselves in the One who made us and Who calls to us to know Him, fill our empty selves with Himself, with His life, and spend eternity with Him.
“Lord, Thy madest us for Thyself,” wrote St. Augustine, “and we can find no rest till we find rest in Thee.”
“Since we were made for eternity,” one commentator notes, “the things of time cannot fully and permanently satisfy.”*
Jesus’ words to the Samaritan woman whom He met at the well reverberate through time to us today: “Whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up into eternal life” (John 4:14).
“He has placed eternity in the hearts of men.” God has placed in each of us a longing that cannot be satisfied with anything but Him.
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart,” God tells us (Jeremiah 29:13).
God is eternal, and He wants to share eternity with you.
Have you found Him? Are you seeking?
He isn’t far – only a breath away.
Thank you, Father, that You loved me so much that You made the way for me to spend eternity with you. Amen.
Special-Tea: Read 1 John 5:11–12
*From study notes in the NIV Study Bible, (c) 2002 The Zondervan Corporation.