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Thursday, August 20, 2020

Children on horse-drawn cart in Lebanon County
Children on a horse-drawn cart in Lebanon County.

"A Thousand Years"

Message summary: There are many perspectives in which we evaluate time, but the bottom line is that God has numbered our years, days, even our minutes here on earth and our lives are in His hands.

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

"For a thousand years in Thy sight are like yesterday when it passes by, or as a watch in the night" (Psalm 90:4). “But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day” (2 Peter 3:8).

A thousand ages in Thy sight
Are like an evening gone
Short as the watch that ends the night,
Before the rising Sun.

Yesterday I was with a middle-aged friend and he commented how fast the summer has gone by. I told him time just seems to go faster the older you get (just like my parents always said). Then I considered time from God's perspective, what a limited sense we have of that.

Our daily texts certainly give us something to ponder. The second text from Peter is used to illustrate God's patience and forbearance desiring mankind to come to repentance.

A banker who read this passage was quite amazed and talked to God about it.

“Lord, is it true that a thousand years for us is like one minute to you?”
The Lord said "yes".
The banker said, “Then a million dollars to us must be like one penny to you.”
The Lord said, “Well, yes.”
The banker said, “Will you give me one of those pennies?”
The Lord said, “All right, I will. But wait here just a minute.”

“But do not ignore this one fact, beloved." This is an interesting introduction to a truth (fact) which should grab our attention. It must not be neglected or ignored. Man sees time against time, but God sees time against eternity. God is above time, for His "time line" has no beginning or end, compared to man's which now lasts some 80 years plus or minus. God is not bound by or limited by time as is man. Time is determined by the relation of the sun to the earth, and God is not limited by this relationship.

"With the Lord one day is like a thousand years." A day is 1/365000th of a thousand years (notwithstanding leap years) or as a percentage is 0.00027397260273973%.

The Precept Austin online study observes:

"Peter uses thousand years to picture any long period of time as contrasted to a very short period and therefore does not convey a precise mathematical significance. God is not limited to our time schedules to fulfill His purposes. Peter is not saying that the Lord is timeless (which of course He is) but that His relation to time must never be confused with our relation to time. For example, a 24 hour day seems relatively short to us (depending on what kind of "day" you are having!) while a thousand years is a very long time. With the Lord a 24 hour day is no different than 1000 years and vice versa. Whether it is a day or a thousand years as we count time, both are really the same with the Lord. Neither hampers nor helps Him."

"And a thousand years are like a day." F.B. Meyer observes, "Periods that seem so long to our finite minds are not so to God. A thousand years in our reckoning is but a day in His. You say it is nearly two thousand years ago since Jesus died, or at least that we are in the evening of the second thousand. But in God’s reckoning, the Cross, the Grave, the Resurrection, took place in the morning of yesterday. Take wider views of God’s horizon; believe in His mighty march throughout the centuries; He takes up the isles as a very little thing, and the centuries are the beats of the minute-hand."

There are many perspectives in which we evaluate time, but the bottom line is that God has numbered our years, days, even our minutes here on earth and our lives are in His hands. Have you come to repentance?

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we've often heard the phrase, "Redeem the time" because our time here on earth is but a brief moment in light of eternity. But as a believer I will not leave this earth one hour before Your appointed time, nor will I be detained beyond Your time allotted to me. May I joyously and victoriously live each day honoring You by that which I live for, work for, and stand for. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Personal note: It seems like many observe that time seems to go faster when you get older. I attribute this to each time period being a smaller and smaller percentage of your life. When I was 10 a year was 10% of my life, actually even more since you really don't remember the first several years of your life. Then at 50 each year is 2% and of course it continues to be a smaller percentage as you age.

However I muse about two other time perspectives:

1) I have had dreams when many years in the dream take place in a very short amount of sleep time.

2) Recovering from surgery it seems like time goes by brutally slow!

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"My Life is in Your Hands"  Video  Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir

"Our Lives Are In Your Hands"  Video  Chuck Girard

"Psalm 90"  Video  Shane and Shane

Some more scenes from our drive through Lebanon County on Tuesday.

Lebanon County farmhouse
We liked this setting; the old farmhouse with the extended front porch, the windmill and silos along with the vegetable garden reminds us of a country setting where our grandparents would welcome our visit. This is likely an old-order Mennonite farm.
Click to enlarge

Lebanon County farmhouse
Another Lebanon County farmhouse. Notice the winding stairway to the front porch.
Click to enlarge

Lebanon County one room schoolhouse
A Lebanon County one room schoolhouse.
Click to enlarge

Lebanon County one room schoolhouse
Another view. Note the basketball goal and imagine dribbling the ball on the grass!
Click to enlarge.
For those who enjoy exploring geography on Google maps these scenes are here.

Finally today:
Work boot birdhouse
Ultimate repurposing!
License plate roof for bird house in a work boot in Nickel Mines, Lancaster County.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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