God is Eternal
Genesis 1:1 states, “in the beginning God.” The Hebrew term b’rêshîth or beginning refers to an absolute beginning. The phrase in the beginning relates to the absolute beginning of all things. All things include time, space, and matter. In other words, at the beginning of time, space, and matter, God was already existing. God was already existing is known as eternality. Eternality means that God has no beginning or end (Deuteronomy 32:40; Psalm 102:27).
Since God is without beginning or end, He is free from the succession of time (1 Corinthians 2:7).1 The term ages, in 1 Corinthians 2:7, comes from the Greek term aiōn, which refers to the existence of time. Paul states here that God's wisdom was decreed before the existence of time. If God’s wisdom existed before the existence of time, then God Himself must also exist before time. God’s eternality extends beyond time; He is infinite (Psalm 90:2). “From everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God” demonstrates that there is no distinction in time for God. The past, present, and future are an equally current reality to Him.
God not only existed before time; He existed before all of space (Ephesians 1:4). The term foundation (katabolē) refers to the process of conception. The term world (kosmos) refers to the universe. Thus the “foundations of the world” relate to the method of the universe's conception. Before the universe was conceived, God chose to make believers holy and blameless.
Furthermore, God existed before all of matter (Psalm 90:2). Scripture views the mountains as one of the most ancient parts of inhabitable creation (Deuteronomy 33:15). The idea is that the mountains would have been the first part of the land that emerged out of the sea. The mood of the verb brought forth (yalad) means to be born. Thus, the phrase “before the mountains were brought forth” is a Hebrew mechanism for expressing the idea of “before the earth was born.”2 In other words, before the earth (i.e., matter) came into existence, God was. God’s eternality means that He exists before time, space, and matter. As well, He is not dependent upon time, space, or matter; rather, God is beyond time, space, and matter. Genesis 1:1 reveals the eternal God.
1. A. H. Strong, Systematic Theology (Philadelphia: American Baptist Publication Society, 1907), 276.
2. Albert Barnes & James Murphy, Barnes' Notes on the Old and New Testaments: Psalms, Volume 3 (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House Company, 1983), 3.