Motion defines time. Before people invented sundials or atomic clocks - there was still a whole world full of movement. Flowers bloomed. Berries ripened. Blades of grass bent over slowly as the dew set upon them. Frogs hopped, deer grazed, tigers pounced. And the moon waxed & waned as it played with its pull toy, the sea. But before human history, there was no artificial measurement of “time”.
Most examples of motion in nature are known to relax and/or surge at unpredictable moments. In fact, very few things seem to move with any natural consistency. The invention of man-measured "time" reflects our mortal desire for some reliable constant. But only one Movement is, or can be, truly constant.
The Almighty God is as constant as human beings are inconstant. Paradoxically, however, God is also dynamic. The Divine Word, who was In the Beginning with God, He came into the World and - somehow - changed. Jesus became incarnate, died, rose, ascended, and began dwelling in spirit within each of his followers. He changed, changed again, brought change, and keeps on bringing change still today. Yet, the LORD changes not.
God is perfectly constant, and yet God is dynamic. What a Mystery!
But perhaps we digress...
Keeping all this in mind, about motion and constancy, let's go back a couple of posts and re-examine the Time when, presumably, God existed before any physical matter. What must that have been like? We've already determined, in all practical sense, that there was a progression of "Time". Also, somehow - because God is one who Moves - there was Movement. Before there was physical matter, God was moving. Somehow. But HOW? In what manner and by what means was God moving? Or, to put that another way, what was God's Movement like, in that Time?
For starters: Did God have any Place to move in, to or from?
To be continued...
Bill, was there ever a time when there was not time or the perception of it? I mean, does the story begin in Gen. 1 and God create matter or is there pre-existing matter in Gen. 1?
How do you read Gen. 1:1-2?
A - "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters." NASB
B - "When God began to create heaven and the earth - the earth being unformed and void, with darkness over the surface of the deep and a wind from God sweeping over the water - " JPS TANAKH
Why would we think there is not a time when there was not space or time or the perception of time? If matter pre-exists, like God, then there would be the possibility of time perception, yes? It also seems pre-existent matter requires space...yes?
The basic definition of "matter" is that which has weight and takes up space. So yes, matter requires space. God, however, is immaterial.
At any rate, I'm comfortable with the ambiguity of Gen. 1:1-2. As you note, those verses do not clearly state whether God created the physical universe or merely brought chaos to order. So, as I say, we must presume (if we presume) that God predates physical matter.
That's the assumption I'm making in this series, anyway. But we'll give it a good shake over the next few posts.
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