How many are the years of God?
By Don Ruhl
Did you know that the Bible refers to the years of God? How many are the years of God? Perhaps you thought God was eternal and so references to years in relation to God does not make sense. Yet, the Bible does address the years of God, but in such a way as to help us to know that He is our eternal God.
Why should we care about the years or eternity of God? How does it affect our lives? After establishing the years of God, I will show you why this matters to us.
In verses 1 and 2 the psalmist begs for God to hear the prayer. Then the psalmist begins the next section of verses 3–7 like this, “For my days are consumed like smoke…”
Then he ends the next section of verses 8–11 like this, “My days are like a shadow that lengthens, and I wither away like grass.” Therefore, the psalmist needs on his side the eternal God.
Psalm 102.12–17 God Endures Forever
The psalmist declared that the Lord shall endure forever (Psa 102.12–17), in contrast to the smoke-like, shadow-like, and grass-like days of the psalmist. That was the kind of Helper the psalmist wanted and needed. Therefore, the eternal God would rise up and spare His people.
Psalm 102.18–22 God Endures Forever for Future Generations
“This will be written for the generation to come, that a people yet to be created may praise the LORD…” (Psalm 102.18–22). I believe this refers to the church generation and you will see that when I make a connection shortly with the New Testament. The eternal God was not just for Israel of the flesh, but He is also for Israel of the spirit.
The psalmist cried to God, “He weakened my strength in the way; He shortened my days. I said, ‘O my God, Do not take me away in the midst of my days; Your years are throughout all generations.” (Psa 102.23, 24). Again the psalmist contrasted his mere days with God’s years, saying that while the days of the psalmist had been shortened, yet, God’s years are throughout all generations. The psalmist is gone, but the same God is still with us. The psalmist used, “years,” in an accommodative manner. That is how we understand things. Next the psalmist showed how the years of God are throughout all generations.
Psalm 102.25–27 The Years of God From Eternity to Eternity
The writer confessed of God that He laid the foundation of the earth, and that the heavens are the work of His hands. While they will perish, He will endure. The natural universe will grow old like a garment; and so like a cloak He will change them, whereas, He is the same, “And Your years will have no end” (Psa 102.23–27). In the beginning God was there laying the foundation of the earth and making the heavens, because He was before the heavens and the Earth (Psa 90.2; Psa 93.2).
As long as the Earth and the heavens have been around, they will still perish, but God will continue on. The Earth and the heavens are like clothing that grows old. When they have grown completely old and no longer useful, God will change them, even as we change clothes.
He does not increase, nor does He decrease. What He was yesterday, He still is today, and He will be tomorrow.
Now hear what the psalmist concluded in contrast to his earlier desperation.
Psalm 102.28 The Years of God’s People
With confidence after meditating on God’s eternity, the psalmist confided, “The children of Your servants will continue, and their descendants will be established before You” (Psa 102.28). Rather than the days of the psalmist being cut off, he thought more on God and His eternity, and knew that meant eternity for God’s people. Worship and serve the eternal God that He may give you eternal life.
Of Whom Does Psalm 102 Speak?
Psalm 102 speaks of the “Lord” or Jehovah or Yahweh (vv. 1, 12, 15, 16, 18, 19, 21, 22), and in verse 24 the psalmist used another word, “God.”
He is better than the angels because He has a more excellent name than they. What name is that? In what way is Jesus better than the angels? The writer starts preaching from the Old Testament, quoting one Old Testament passage after another, saying that they all referred to Jesus.
Verse 5 quotes Psalm 2.7 and Second Samuel 7.14 referring to Jesus as the Son of God and not angels.
Verse 6 quotes the Septuagint of Deuteronomy 32.43, ordering all the angels of God to worship Jesus, whereas the angels are mere ministers, according to verse 7, which is a quotation of Psalm 104.4. Whereas verses 8, 9 quote Psalm 45.6, 7, thusly,
But to the Son He says:
“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness;
Therefore God, Your God [the Father], has anointed You
With the oil of gladness more than Your companions.”
(Heb 1.8, 9)
To establish that point more, the Hebrew writer quoted Psalm 102! The writer of the Book of Hebrews quoted Psalm 102 as a psalm directed at Jesus!
That means Jesus is the Lord, Jehovah, Yahweh, and God. Jesus is eternal, making Him Godlike, because He is God. The part of Psalm 102 that the writer quoted says that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. The writer made that declaration about Jesus later in the Book, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Heb 13.8).
Do you see who Jesus is? Why does the eternity of God or of Jesus matter to us?
First, this means He is our refuge (Deu 33.27).
Second, He will always be there for us (Isa 40.28).
Third, He dwells with you, reviving you (Isa 57.15).
Fourth, we know to whom we direct our glorification (Jude 25).