We were driving along the road from Richfield, Utah to Bryce Canyon when we saw Panguitch. What is Panguitch, you might ask? It is a lovely, small town just 24 miles from Bryce Canyon, and we felt like we were driving through the old west a century ago (as long as you didn’t notice the traffic lights, paved road and modern cars!).
The town is small, but it has a rich history. According to the town’s website, “Panguitch” is a Native American Paiute word meaning “Big Fish”, a reference to the many lakes in teh area which are teeming with award-sized rainbow trout.
The site further describes the town by saying: “This historically rich town is unassuming, quaint, and full of its own charm. Sprinkled with wild-west history, the city boasts small museums, original architecture, stunning wilderness, and plenty of pioneer spirit.” (Emphasis mine.)
Have you ever stepped back in time? I know we can’t do it for real, but have you ever thought about a time different than our own? Perhaps it was a time in your life when things were wonderful, even though you didn’t realize it then. Or, perhaps you were reading an historical novel and found yourself lost in the time period of the characters in the book. Or, perhaps you were watching a television series like Downton Abby, and you found yourself thinking how you would have reacted if you had been living at that time.
No matter, the point of that I want us to think about is that God created time, and God is outside of time. What was yesterday, today and tomorrow for us are all the eternal present for God.
I certainly cannot explain it, because my mind is limited to time references of a temporal human being. But, the eternal Creator of time is certainly able to be outside of time. He has existed forever and He will continue to exist forever.
In Deuteronomy we read:
“There is none like God, O Jeshurun, who rides through the heavens to your help, through the skies in his majesty. The eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms. And he thrust out the enemy before you and said, ‘Destroy.’”
Deuteronomy 33:26-27 ESV (see the endnote for more information about Jeshurun)
This verse tells us that none of the gods of the nations around Israel were capable of doing for their worshippers that which Jehovah did for His people. Matthew Henry says this about this passage:
Riding on the heavens denotes his greatness and glory, in which he manifests himself to the upper world, and the use he makes of the influences of heaven, and the productions of the clouds, in bringing to pass his own counsels in this lower world: he manages and directs them as a man does the horse he rides on. When he has any thing to do for his people he rides upon the heavens to do it; for he does it swiftly and strongly: no enemy can either anticipate or obstruct the progress of him that rides on the heavens.
His boundless eternity; he is the eternal God, and his arms are everlasting. The gods of the heathen were but lately invented, and would shortly perish; but the God of Jeshurun is eternal: he was before all worlds, and will be when time and days shall be no more.
God’s eternality is one of His attributes that is fundamental to our understanding of His nature. He existed before the Creation of all things and He will continue to exist long after this world has gone. He doesn’t need to “step back in time” because all of time is in Him at the same time.
But for us, we time-bound people, while we can think back and recall other times, we have no ability to think forward to the future. That belongs to God.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Jeremiah 29:11 ESV
Jesus put it this way:
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
Matthew 6:34 ESV
Beloved, no matter what faces you today, be aware that God knows of your situation and He has it in His control. There is simply nothing that comes your way that either surprises God or that is too difficult for Him to deal with – He is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent. In other words, God knows all things, God is all powerful, and God is present everywhere.
All the idols that mankind has created share at least one fundamental characcteristic – they are all manmade. God, however, is not manmade: rather, He created man. Trust Him. Believe in Him. Look to His Son who paid the price for mankind’s sin and believe in Him for your salvation and eternal life.
Moses was right – “There is none like God”.
Father, I thank You for your word and I thank You for loving your people with an everlasting love. You are God. Forgive me when I have looked to other gods for help when only You can give me life abundant now and eternal hereafter. You are God, and there is none other.
[By the way, Jeshurun is a poetical name for the people of Israel that is used as a token of affection. Its meaning is “the dear upright people” and it is used in only four places: Deuteronomy 32:15, Deuteronomy 22:5, Deuteronomy 33:26, and Isaiah 44:2.]