There is a line from a Tragically Hip song which often flows through my mind when I pull onto the highway. It says, “And take my life in my hands?”
It is a fairly safe highway. But none-the-less, there are some risks involved when driving your 2,000 lb. car at 90 km/hr with a number of strangers who are doing the same thing. Will I have an accident? Will the driver in the on-coming lane stay on their side of the road? We pull out onto the highway resigned to the idea that we do not know the answers to these questions. The future is unknown and full of “what if’s.”
But is the future unknown? For people bound by time yes, the future is unknown. We cannot escape life as we know it and enter some other dimension and observe what will come next. We do not have time-traveling abilities. For us the future is impossible to know.
But is it impossible for anyone to know? What about God? Is God also bound by time and therefore a spectator of unfolding events?
The Bible is God’s self-revelation given to people. In it He is described as one who exhaustively knows the past, the present, and also the future. The future is described as laying before Him. Someone has illustrated God’s knowledge using a pen with the pen representing all of time, past, present and future. God holds time (pen) in His hand. He is able to view time from either end, the beginning or end of time. He can also view time as it lays in His hand.
From every possible angle, He is able to view time because He is absolutely limitless, not bound by time.
If you spend just a few casual moments thinking about this you realize this is a difficult concept to logically accept. How can something that has not taken place be known by God? How can something seemingly unknowable be known?
This attribute of God brings with it some hard questions. With God knowing what is going to happen in the future then why pray? If God knows all the bad things that are going to be taking place then why doesn’t He stop them? These are legitimate questions. I’m not going to try to answer them. But I will say that the Church is doing a disservice to people who ask these questions when we adjust the picture of God and dismiss His biblically revealed attributes. We cannot adjust God to fit what we are comfortable with.
There is much mystery surrounding God. We can’t figure Him out. But He has revealed Himself in the Bible in a certain way and we need to wrestle with our questions inside the parameters He has set.
Will I get in a car wreck the next time I pull onto the highway?
I don’t know. But God does.
Pastor Edgar Unrau
Chemainus Calvary Baptist Church