Before Time Began

There are two immeasurable dimensions in which we, as human beings, live. They are time and space. While man has in a measure probed space, his efforts to search back into time have not been so successful. He can go so far back into history, but of the early history of the heavens and the earth he knows very little. It is just here that the informed child of God can claim to know more than his “teachers”, see Psa. 119. 99, for from God’s Word we can learn something of what happened before ever the world was made. Even before earth’s foundations were laid—while the Godhead still had the plans of this world on heaven’s drawing-board—God had intentions for mankind. The apostle Peter wrote, “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold… but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you”, 1 Pet. 1. 18-20.

When the truth in these verses grips the mind, we will realize that God’s plan of salvation was drawn up before the need of salvation arose. Before time began, it was decided that Christ would be the Lamb who would suffer on Calvary for our sins. Before there was any garden of Eden or Adam and Eve, it was known in heaven that sin would mar and blight the Creator’s intended creation, and from this we must face the startling fact that God knew that Adam would fall before He made him.

Perhaps some think, as the writer in his ignorance once did, that God came to Eden’s garden on that fateful day and discovered that Adam had disobeyed Him and so had fallen. They may suppose that the Godhead had to have a hurried consultation to decide what should be done about the crisis that had arisen, and a plan had then to be drawn up. But of course the fall did not take God by surprise. Only a very poor conception of who and what God is would entertain the idea that it did. God knew that Adam would fall, and so bring sin with all its attendant sufferings, miseries and agonies into the world; yet He created him. Of course, if we knew that something we were about to make would bring trouble, suffering and pain to others, we would not make it. The fact that God went forward with His plans to create our world shows that there is a wide gap between His wisdom and ours. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways… For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts’, Isa. 55. 8, 9.

We mere mortals must never question the Almighty’s actions and ways. God is sufficient in Himself and gives no one an account of His doings. Those who hold highly responsible positions on earth have to consult their experts, and have a panel of advisers and specialists to help them come to a right decision on an important issue. It is not so with God. Speaking of God, the prophet says: “With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of judgment… and showed to him the way of understanding?”, Isa. 40. 14. In the New Testament the apostle could exclaim:”0 the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God I how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out I”, Rom. 11. 33. If we are wise, this should be our attitude when confronted with something we do not understand about the ways of God.

It will help us to understand God’s ways better if we are clear in our minds as to the difference between what God sees is going to happen, and what He plans to happen in the future. Before time began, God planned that He would create this world. Yet He saw in advance that the man whom He would create would disobey Him and bring sin into the world. He therefore devised the plan of salvation to deal with this development, although He still went on with His original plan to create the world.

We see this difference between these two ways of God in the case of Judas Iscariot, who betrayed our Lord. Judas did not have to betray his Master in order to fulfil Scripture. He was not ordained to be a traitor, but it was seen, from a past eternity, that he would be one. Consequently God revealed this in the Psalms and in the Prophets, and in due time it came to pass.

It is unthinkable that God’s original plan for this world could ever be thwarted or brought to nought. In future years, when salvation’s plan will have been finally brought to fruition, and the devastating effect of sin’s entry into this world will be but a memory, the plans that God had for this world of ours in a pre-Adamic eternity will be fully and gloriously realized.

God saw that Adam would fall, but it is in the plans of God that Christ will come for His Church and also reign on this earth for a thousand years. Of these plans He tells us in advance, and having considered something of God’s unsearchable wisdom and foreknowledge, we know that they will, assuredly come to pass.


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