The Glory of Time
Genesis 29:20 - And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her.
Genesis 29 contains the account of Jacob’s years in Haran in service to his Uncle Laban. It was agreed upon between these men that seven years of service should be performed in exchange for Jacob's wedding of Laban’s youngest daughter, Rachel. Thus did Jacob embark upon, and thus does the cited text describe. As the account goes, we learn that Jacob was beguiled by his uncle and given Leah after the fulfillment of the initial seven years and was thereafter compelled to serve seven years more before he finally wed the love of his soul. While there is much significance in this account related to the outworking of God’s purpose with Israel, it is interesting to observe by the way the description of the process of time that Jacob experienced while serving these years. The Bible says that they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her (Gen. 29:20).
This statement is very interesting to me. It is obvious that time is actively passing and events are continually transpiring, for the number of the years were accurately counted in the fulfillment of her week, yet there is unseen operation going on in time in which Jacob does not experience the burden typically associated with it. The love he had for her was so enrapturing that the passage of time was not laden with the weight that normally attends our temporal bounds.
I think we all have experienced this phenomena to some degree. We often quote the expression that has been stated in various forms by men down through the years: “Time flies when you are having fun.” This expresses our experience of time when events are occurring and time is passing and yet our perception of it is strikingly absent. For some finite period, we enter a cognitive state of euphoria in which the burden of time is lifted from us and we are truly free to enjoy the pleasure that occupies our minds and hearts.
I expressed an experience of a form of this to my wife the other day. As I was thinking on things I came to realize that since our son has been born, she and I reckon time differently than we have in the past. This was not something that we chose to do intentionally, nor is it something that we did knowingly along the way. It was kind of an automatic transition that took place in us as we became parents that I only recently discovered after reflecting upon it. I asked her, “Have you noticed how we measure time differently now?” “What do you mean?” she asked. I replied, “Since [our son] was born, we now think of and measure time in terms of his life, not ours. For the past two and a half years, you and I have continued to live. We have continued to age. We have continued to have the time of our lives pass away in a fleeting manner and our days have continued to evaporate from us as a vapor, yet we haven’t been conscious of it as we used to be. Our conception of time now revolves around him; his growth, his milestones, his development, where he has been and where he is now. The love that we have for him has consumed and taken over our lives to the point where our own is not a great point of reckoning any longer. We will gladly spend and be spent for him, never realizing that our lives are passing us by. Time is still occurring. We still spend our days providing for ourselves, working together and building a home, but we haven’t been conscious of the weight of our time as we once were.” She agreed, and as I thought on this further I believe that I came to understand something more of eternity for those who know the Lord.
The glory of being in the presence of Jesus will instantly remove the burden of time from our minds and bodies. Every weight that now attends our temporal existence will immediately be lifted as we are ushered in to His all-consuming glory. Time will continue. Events will transpire. We will serve the Lord in heaven, but the burden of the time will be done away. Years will pass, and it will seem unto [us] but a few days. This is the experience of the glory of time as God intended it, and even now we can experience some small measure of it as we redeem it to His glory.
Time was created for the glory of the Son of God, and time thus used is free from burden. The burden of time enters when we experience it apart from Him and when we selfishly reckon it by our own existence rather than by His purpose, His will and His life. He makes the difference, for when we are fascinated by His presence our times get lost in His and the burden is gone. To Him be glory for ever. Amen.
Published by Joshua Edwards
Joshua Edwards is an ambassador for the Lord Jesus Christ who is dedicated the to the communication of sound doctrine as set forth in the pages of God's word. He desires to have all men to be saved by believing the gospel of the grace of God, and thereafter to come unto the knowledge of the truth by establishment in the preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery (Romans 16:25).