Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting…
I. EXPLICATION. Eternity is a duration without bounds or limits; now there are two limits of duration, beginning and ending; that which hath always been, is without beginning; that which always shall be, is without ending. But eternity, absolutely taken, comprehends both these, and signifies an infinite duration, which had no beginning, nor shall have any end: so that when we say God is eternal, we mean that He always was, and shall be for ever; that He had no beginning of life, nor shall have any end of days; but that He is "from everlasting to everlasting."
1. From the dictates of natural reason. This attribute of God is of all others least disputed among the philosophers; all agree that God is eternal, and are agreed what eternity is; viz. a boundless duration; and however they did attribute a beginning to their heroes and demons, whence come the genealogies of their gods, yet the Supreme God they looked upon as without beginning; and it is a good evidence that this perfection doth clearly belong to God, that Epicurus, who had the lowest and meanest conceptions of God, yet is forced to attribute this to Him: Tully (do Nat. Deor. lib. I) saith to the Epicureans, "Where, then, is your happy and eternal Being, by which two epithets you express God?" And Lucretius gives this account of the Divine nature, "It is absolutely necessary to the nature of the gods to pass an eternity in profound peace and quiet."
2. From Scripture and Divine revelation. St. Peter's conversion of the words, "One day is as a thousand years," etc., only signifies this, that the longest duration of time is so inconsiderable to God, that it is as the shortest; that is, bears no proportion to the eternity of God. But directly, the Scripture frequently mentions this attribute (Genesis 21:33; Deuteronomy 33:27; Isaiah 57:15); and this, as it is attributed to Him in respect of His being, so in respect of all His other perfections (Psalm 103:17; Romans 1:20; 1 Timothy 1:17; Galatians 1:5).
III. DOCTRINAL COROLLARIES.
1. From the eternity of God, we may infer, that He is of Himself. That which always is can have nothing before it to be a cause of its being.
2. We may infer the necessity of His being. It is necessary everything should be, when it is; now, that which is always is absolutely necessary, because always so.
3. The immutability of the Divine nature; for being always, He is necessarily; and being necessarily, He cannot but be what He is; a change of His being is as impossible as a cessation.
IV. PRACTICAL INFERENCES. The consideration of God's eternity may serve —
1. For the support of our faith. There are two attributes which are the proper objects of our faith and confidence — God's goodness, and His power; both these are eternal.
2. For the encouragement of our obedience. We serve the God who can give us an everlasting reward.
3. For the terror of wicked men.
Parallel VersesKJV: Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.