“But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2 Peter 3:8).
Peter is sharing this from Psalms 90:4, “For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it is past, and like a watch in the night.” God is eternal (Deuteronomy 33:27). With Him there is no past, no future; all things are eternally present. He has no need for our limited concept of time, and we cannot confine Him or His ideas to our scale of days and years.
In stating this truth, Peter is challenging the skeptical impatience of the scoffers who were judging God by their own limited standards. These doubted whether God would fulfill His promises connected with the end of the world saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation” (2 Peter 3:4). To those who are patient, Peter is saying that time is relative.
On the other hand, Peter is not here setting up a prophetic yardstick for computing time periods. Verse 7 deals with the fact that God is patiently awaiting the Day of Judgment, and v. 9 that He is “long-suffering to us-ward.” With God, time is not measured the same way as with humans.
There is a Bible rule for interpreting prophetic time in the scriptures called the day-for-a-year principle (Numbers 14:34 and Ezekiel 4:6). But this verse in 2 Peter 3:8 is not speaking of Bible prophecy. It is simply showing man’s impatience in comparison to God’s patience. The skeptics supposed that God’s plans had been hindered or changed because Christ had not yet returned. They failed to realize that God is almighty and unchangeable and that His plans will all be fulfilled in due time.
The Lord assures His children that He will not forget them: “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 4:9).
In His service,
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