Recently, as I was sitting at a traffic light and staring up at billboard, the thought hit me that since God is eternal, and that since man has only been on the earth for a few thousand years (I know this point is debatable), the whole span of human existence is but a mere blip for God.
I wondered then, “What did God do for all the ages leading up to our existence?” Does He have a much bigger role that He is filling, rather than just “Creator of Humans”? There is a whole universe out there, after all. And the vast majority of it has to do with us tiny, weak humans.
I have always thought of humans and the earth as being God’s big success story, that His big accomplishment was us. However, we are really only a minute part of what God has done. It’s kind of like how a small child imagines that he is his parents’ whole life. He isn’t able to fathom them ever having a life before him — as though they were born parents.
One thing I have wondered about for years is what Satan was doing after He and his cohorts were kicked out of Heaven, but before God created man. Satan is called the “god of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4), but what was happening before there really was a world (earth) and people to tempt? Why did God even allow Satan to enter the Garden of Eden in the first place? I think I’m getting ahead of myself.
The more I’ve thought about all these questions, the more I realize that I’m asking the wrong questions, or maybe it’s just that I’m making inaccurate assumptions about God.
God isn’t constrained to time like we are. For example, we often think in terms of humans having been around for a specific length of time, say 6000 years (again, debatable). Furthermore, we understand that God existed before humans, and will, of course, exist for all eternity with His believers in the New Jerusalem, after earth as we know it is gone, and He has created a new heaven and a new earth (Rev. 21:1-2). Thinking about time in a linear fashion is the only way we know to do so.
I believe that God is also able to do the same thing — view time as a long line stretching to eternity in both directions, both past and future. However, I believe that for Him there really is no such thing as time. Everything past, present, future exists all at once for Him. He sees it all, all the time. He’s God. He’s big. He can do that.
Therefore, to ponder what God was doing before He created us, is really basing the question on faulty assumptions. In Exodus 3:14, God calls himself, “I AM”. God is, was, and will be. There has never been a time, nor will there ever be a time, when God does not exist.
In fact, even framing the last sentence the way I did is inaccurate. God came before time, not the other way around. It would be impossible for there ever to be a time when God did not exist, because He created time. God exists without time.
This brings me back to my original question then, “What did God do for all the ages leading up to our existence?”. I believe the only way to answer it is by concluding that for God humans have never not existed. We’re no less real and alive to Him today than say, a billion human years ago.