And yet we have provided you with the best and most relevant Bible texts which have put at ease the minds of untold numbers of Christians:
**For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night. **
Matthew Henry wrote this commentary about verse 4 of Psalm 90:
"The foregoing psalm [Psalm 90] is supposed to have been penned as late as the captivity in Babylon; this, it is plain, was penned as early as the deliverance out of Egypt, and yet they are put close together in this collection of divine songs. This psalm was penned by Moses (as appears by the title), the most ancient penman of sacred writ."
"It is supposed that this psalm was penned upon occasion of the sentence passed upon Israel in the wilderness for their unbelief, murmuring, and rebellion, that their carcases should fall in the wilderness, that they should be wasted away by a series of miseries for thirty-eight years together, and that none of them that were then of age should enter Canaan. This was calculated for their wanderings in the wilderness, as that other song of Moses (Deu. 31:19, 21) was for their settlement in Canaan. We have the story to which this psalm seems to refer, Num. 14. Probably Moses penned this prayer to be daily used, either by the people in their tents, or, at lest, by the priests in the tabernacle-service, during their tedious fatigue in the wilderness."
"To acknowledge the infinite disproportion there is between God and men, v. 4. Some of the patriarchs lived nearly a thousand years; Moses knew this very well, and had recorded it: but what is their long life to God's eternal life? "A thousand years, to us, are a long period, which we cannot expect to survive; or, if we could, it is what we could not retain the remembrance of; but it is, in thy sight, as yesterday, as one day, as that which is freshest in mind; nay, it is but as a watch of the night,' which was but three hours."
"1. A thousand years are nothing to God's eternity; they are less than a day, than an hour, to a thousand years. Betwixt a minute and a million of years there is some proportion, but betwixt time and eternity there is none. The long lives of the patriarchs were nothing to God, not so much as the life of a child (that is born and dies the same day) is to theirs."
"2. All the events of a thousand years, whether past or to come, are as present to the Eternal Mind as what was done yesterday, or the last hour, is to us, and more so. God will say, at the great day, to those whom he has turned to destruction, Return-Arise you dead. But it might be objected against the doctrine of the resurrection that it is a long time since it was expected and it has not yet come. Let that be no difficulty, for a thousand years, in God's sight, are but as one day. Nullum tempus occurrit regi-To the king all periods are alike."
The New Testament picks up this very same theme:
2 Peter 3:8
But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
2 Peter 3:1-9
This second epistle . . I now write unto you. . . [t]hat ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets.... Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying,
"Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation." [ < Does this not sound like you, Mike? ]
[Peter continues] "For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men."
"But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day."
Regarding this text, Matthew Henry writes this:
"The truth which the apostle asserts-that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years are as one day. Though, in the account of men, there is a great deal of difference between a day and a year, and a vast deal more between one day and a thousand years, yet in the account of God, who inhabits eternity, in which there is no succession, there is no difference; for all things past, present, and future, are ever before him, and the delay of a thousand years cannot be so much to him as the deferring of any thing for a day or an hour is to us. "