El-Olam—The Eternal God


“He is the one who keeps every promise forever.” —Psalm 146:6

“To infinity and beyond,” proclaimed Toy Story hero Buzz Lightyear as he blasted off from his battery-powered plastic pedestal, only to end his maiden voyage by crashing into the ceiling. Buzz’s boastful wish was to travel faster than light speed to conquer worlds unlimited by time or space. Yet his efforts were stopped by an impenetrable force.

In real life, the concept of “infinity and beyond” challenges human understanding, yet it is a welcome exercise to our spiritual imagination. The infinity symbol (via Wikipedia) is sometimes called the lemniscate; is a mathematical symbol representing the concept of infinity. It has no beginning or end. This same symbol is also used to illustrate the eternal concept of God, as an eternal being, since He has no beginning or end. The lemniscate symbol is inadequate because it begins and ends upon itself. Like Buzz Lightyear’s failed attempt to soar into the outer limits, our attempt to wrap our minds around God’s eternal nature might be blocked by hitting the ceiling of our intellectual understanding. A better illustration might be a line that has no beginning or end. God’s eternal nature is limitless, is humanly unfathomable, and has no glass ceiling.

“All history is but a speck within the spectrum of eternity. El-Olam transcends all time.” —Bill Bright, Knowing Him By His Names

El-Olam is the name of God that means the Eternal God. The concept of limitless eternity stretches our finite minds. It’s generous of God to give us glimpses of Himself to help us understand His eternal character. He loves us with an everlasting love (Psalm 103:17), offers us eternal life (John 3:16), provides never-ending comfort and hope (2 Thessalonians 2:16), and supplies endless promises that He always keeps (Psalm 146:6). The thousands of decisions you and I make each day really do make a difference for eternity. Has anyone ever failed to follow through for you? Life is full of people who break promises, cause disappointment, and bring on frustration. God will never break a promise. El-Olam keeps every promise He has ever made to us. Our part is to know exactly what those promises are.

El-Olam was in the beginning and will exist until time comes to an end. Abraham respected the truth of God’s eternity by planting a tree as an act of worship. In Genesis 21:33, “Abraham planted a tamarisk tree at Beersheba, and he worshiped the Lord, the Eternal God, at that place.” What a comfort to have a relationship with the Eternal One, El-Olam. “Only one life will soon be past, but only what is done for Christ will last.” As we focus on His eternal plans while we live our lives on earth, we know our toil is not in vain. Someday we will be with Him. Time as we know it will cease. We will understand the meaning of “infinity and beyond,” and what was previously our understanding by faith will be reality. We will dwell with Him, not just for a year, ten, or twenty, but forever. We will live with El-Olam, the Eternal One, for eternity, infinity and beyond.

Dear El-Olam, thank you for this aspect of your personality as our Eternal God. This fact of your existence gives perspective not just to my life but also to my problems. I praise You for keeping your promises, honoring your commitments, and sustaining me through the changes and challenges of life. Help me keep this eternal sense of awareness today. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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