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Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
~ Psalms 136:1 (NKJV)
In the above passage, the original Hebrew of the last line is reverse order of the English—"everlasting [forever] is His chêsêd." The words are repeated 26 times in this psalm and at least 30 other times in the Old Testament.
The Hebrew word translated "forever" is ‛ôlâm, often rendered "everlasting." Its literal meaning is "out of sight." Infinity is not a Hebrew concept. Time and distance simply go on until they pass from sight, like the horizon on our planet's sphere.
My personal suspicion is that eternity is somewhat like a sphere, an eternal circle without end in all directions—4-D rather than 3-D. I can't prove that from Scripture or science or even the Holy Spirit. It's just the feeling I get when I read the Bible and think about God. I see eternity as the perfect union of end and beginning, rather than passage of time. I see Heaven as a place where we can go as far as we want and never put distance between ourselves and God.
(And then again, I could be totally nuts.)
What's important isn't how time and distance work in the realm of everlasting, but that El Olam—Everlasting God—is a name of God more than it is about either time or distance. Olam is His character, and it is the unchanging nature of His every attribute.
Everlasting God, You are unchanging and worthy of our full confidence. We are unstable children of clay. Without You, our Rock, we cannot stand for even a fleeting moment.
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Copyright 2011, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.