One of the things that fills me with great hope and confidence is the knowledge that God is a big God. Nothing ever catches Him off guard. There is nothing that he cannot handle. He doesn’t struggle with new problems that arise. He sees everything and knows how everything resolves. He doesn’t change. He doesn’t fail. He was here before it all and will be here into eternity, from everlasting to everlasting.
The phrase “from everlasting to everlasting” is used in the Psalms in two major instances. The first is Psalm 90, the only Psalm attributed to Moses:
Lord, you have been our dwelling place
throughout all generations.
Before the mountains were born
or you brought forth the whole world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
As Psalm 90 moves forward, it is a sobering reminder that God holds our very mortality in his hands. It is written from a place of anguish, pleading with the God of eternity to spare his people from his anger. It ends with a plea for God to show mercy and love and to “establish the work of our hands.” Show us how to live, God. Guide our hands in Your work. We have only this one life, but You are eternal. Help us to set our hands to eternal work. We would be wise to make this our hearts’ prayer at the start of each day.
The second major occurrence of “from everlasting to everlasting” is in Psalm 103, written by David, who had a clear understanding of the greatness of God’s love. Here’s how he starts the Psalm:
Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Later, David returns to the same theme of mortality used by Moses:
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.
The life of mortals is like grass,
they flourish like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
But from everlasting to everlasting
the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children—
with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.
Perhaps it’s because David had the benefit of seeing how God did indeed deliver Moses and Israel out of slavery that he focuses squarely on God’s compassion. David is still very much aware of the fragility of life, but he has experienced the love and mercy of God first hand. He calls on his readers to be obedient to God and reminds us that God forgives us of our sins when we fail in obedience…all of our sins.
He who created the stars and gives us our very breath calls us to obedience so that we can participate in his eternal work. And when we fall short of obedience, he doesn’t simply strike us down dead. He gives us compassion and grace, mercies new each morning. For Jesus Christ bore the consequences of our sins when he lived a perfect life on this earth and died in our place on the cross, and whoever believes in him can participate in everlasting life. What a beautiful and grace-filled God!
Regardless of your sin or struggle, his grace is sufficient to cover it. Regardless what you face in life, God is big enough to handle it. He was, His is, and He always will be. Now, let’s keep in mind that this life is short. It’s all too easy to waste time. Instead, today, ask God to “establish the work of your hands.” Let’s roll up our sleeves and do some Kingdom work.
Here’s the video for “Everlasting” from the album The Way You Love:
My prayer for you is that each time you listen to this song, you are reminded of what a big and powerful God we serve. With a God like this on our side, we need never to fear!