An Important Question
Our questions like “Who is God?,” “Does He exist?,” “What is He like?,” and “Where did He come from?” are important. For knowing about God, and who He is of primary importance.
Why is it important what we believe about God? First, it is important because our salvation depends on it! Jesus said that to know the true God means eternal life (John 17:3). Note, Jesus says here, “This is eternal life.” He defines eternal life as knowing the one true God. Second, it is important because if we are to live right we have to know God! Judges 2:10 – 12 tells that because the people did not know God that they stopped following Him and served other gods. In Jeremiah 22:16 we see that to know God means that we will act in a manner that is consistent with his nature.
A Simple Answer
The most straightforward answer to the question, “Where did God from?” is simple. He didn’t come from anywhere or from any time! To “come from” implies a place or time of origin. There is no origin to God. He simply IS! He exists. He always has been, is now, and always will be. There is beginning or ending to His Person or Being.
The Westminster Shorter Catechism has defined God in these terms:
“God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in his being, wisdom, power, holiness,
justice, goodness, and truth.”
The Biblical View
God is eternal (Psalm 90:1, 2). In the Hebrew, Psalm 90:2 literally reads, “from vanishing point to vanishing point, You are God.” Look as far as you can in the past, He is there, and He is God. Look in the future as far as you can, and He is there, and He is God.
However, this is not just a difference in quantity of time. It doesn’t mean that He has just been around longer than anyone else. Instead, it is also a difference in His quality of existence. He is timeless. He exists in one eternal NOW! (see 2 Peter 3:8 and Revelation 1:8). For Him there is actually no past, present or future. He just IS! This is why He named Himself the I AM WHO I AM (see Exodus 3:14). God is outside of time, and time is His creation.
To try and understand God, we often think in human terms. We attempt to confine the Lord to the confines of space and time. But He is beyond, above and outside of such confines.
What was God doing before He made the universe?
This is common question that is often asked by children. It is reputed that some theologian was asked this question, and responded, “He was making hell for people who ask foolish questions!”
We won’t be as harsh as that. But in reality this question is like “Where did God come from?” It really is a nonsensical question.
What the Scriptures lead us to believe is this: All that exists in the material universe is the creation of God. This includes matter, energy, space and time. These four things are building blocks of all of nature. There is nothing in the physical universe that cannot be defined in one of these terms, or a combination of them. And all these things were the direct creation of God.
In Genesis 1:1 we read these very famous words:
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”
In this one verse we see the creation of the material, natural universe.
• “In the beginning” – the creation of time, time had a start, a point of origin
• “The heavens” – the expanse of space
• “The earth” – the material world, including energy, which is a function of matter
Everything that exists is a function of Matter-Energy-Space-Time. So here in the very beginning, God created all the basic building blocks of the universe.
Thus, time began with God’s creative word. “Before” and “after” only have meaning in reference to time. There is no “before” creation as far as God is concerned. “Before” the creation, there was nothing in existence, except God. And as we said above, for Him there is no before or after. He just is.