“And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years.” (Genesis 1:14)
The subject of “time” is enigmatic. Everyone seems to know what is meant by time, but no one can define it. We may complain about time going too slow or too fast, but time
doesn’t go anywhere. But neither does it “stand still.”
At least we can measure time intervals—seconds, hours, centuries, etc. This is because of God’s gracious forethought in providing means for doing this. He was not a “blind watchmaker,” as some evolutionists have called Him. He actually created time “in the beginning” (Genesis 1:1).
Then He set the sun and the moon in the sky, and made the earth to assume a global shape and to rotate on an axis, making the measurement of time in “days” possible. Next He placed stars in the far heavens in various locations and combinations and the earth to orbit around the sun, enabling us to tell how many “days” make up a “year.” Then, once the earth’s rotational axis was “tilted,” that made “seasons” measurable. So we can at least identify time durations in days and years with their seasons, and we can subdivide or combine these in whatever ways we find convenient (minutes, decades, summer, winter, etc.).
But what about the “signs”? Although this is a controversial question, certain ancient Jewish scholars believed that God named the stars and their groupings (Isaiah 40:26; Job 38:31-32; etc.) and then revealed their prophetic meanings to patriarchs Seth and Enoch in order to record His great plan and purpose in creation permanently in the heavens. If so, it is no longer needed, since the written Word of God, “for ever… settled in heaven” (Psalm 119:89), has now been transmitted “unto the fathers by the prophets” (Hebrews 1:1) and “shall not pass away” (Matthew 24:35). HMM
From Days of Praise