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What does ‘Thousand years as a day’ mean in 2 Peter 3:8?

What does 2 Peter 3:8 mean? “But do not forget this one thing dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years is like a day.”

The context of this verse is the following. There will be people who say ‘Jesus promised to come back, but He is nowhere to be seen’. The reason they say that is because they do not want to obey God, but follow their own sinful desires.

God’s view of time is different

Peter reminds the church that God’s view of time is different than ours. We have a short life, and time is important to us. God is eternal. For Him, time does not exist. ‘Thousand years is like a day’ is the same thought that is also expressed in Psalm 90:4. “For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night.” Thousand years are not long, for God has existed from eternity and will exist until eternity.

The first part of the saying actually is a bit harder to understand. “With the Lord a day is like a thousand years”. What would take us 1,000 years to do, God can do in a day, or even an instant. What is very hard and takes a long time, even generations, to accomplish, the Lord can do very fast because He is almight.

God keeps His promises

So the whole expression “With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years is like a day” points out the omnipotence and the eternity of God. We serve a great God, therefore we may be sure that all His promises will come true!

Also read: Does God always keeps His promises?

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Marten Visser

Marten Visser

Marten Visser (1971), experienced a call from the Lord to be a missionary while in Kindergarten. He received M.Div., Th.M. in Missiology, M.A. in cultural anthropology degrees and a Ph.D. degree in Theology. In 2000 he became a church planting missionary in Thailand with OMF, together with his wife Esther. In 2015 he returned to the Netherlands where he founded GlobalRize. He continues to serve as GlobalRize’s director of evangelism.

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What does 'Thousand years as a day' mean in 2 Peter 3:8?