Many people believe that time has always been, that it didn’t have a beginning and it will continue ticking on and on for eternity. But as believers we ought to know better, because God clearly shows us in His Word exactly when time began.
We have a God Who is outside the limitations of time. He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, He always was, He always will be. To Him, a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day. He is not affected by time as we as humans are.
But when did time begin for us?
In order to understand time, we need to know the origins of when it began. We can find the answer in the Word of God.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” - Genesis 1:1
This verse very simply identifies the Author of time. God is the One Who created time, and it says that He began to create in the beginning. Here we can go off onto a big rabbit trail and answer all kinds of questions about God being outside of time, but I’m going to choose not to go there for now. All that we need to know for now is that God began time in the beginning.
So the clock has begun ticking here in Genesis 1:1. It is hard for us to wrap our heads around what happened before this verse and before God began His creative process because our minds are so limited in understanding. We are and have always been affected by time and we cannot fathom what it is like to be outside of it, but God is. And honestly that is hard to grasp, but it makes it no less true.
Now this chapter in Genesis continues to describe God’s creation as well as introduces a new concept of time – the day.
Verses 2 through 4 describe God creating light and dark, which He called day and night. Then verse 5 says, “God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.” Different translations also translate the end of this verse as “the first day” rather than “one day”, but the concept that is meant to get across is that this was the very first day. This is where the history of time began.
Since this first day, so many more days have come and gone. Days turn to weeks, weeks turn to months, and months turn to years. It’s not surprising that so many would think that time has gone on for millions and millions of years and will keep going, because to us it seems that way. But God did not want us to be ignorant of the beginning of our history, so He shared it with us in His Word.
Now we can know when time began and to Whom belongs the credit.