Among the many Bible phrases in the English language which emphasize God's eternal being, one that stands
out is "for ever and ever". Of course, echoes of these words from "Handel's Messiah" might have subliminally influenced this observation.
I have never questioned God's eternal nature, but in studying the wording of "for ever and ever" I keep musing on
and getting blessed over this: concerning the hope of the resurrection of the dead in 1 Corinthians 5:19 (KJV), the Apostle
Paul says, If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. Likewise, and more importantly (as everything in creation hinges on the being and character of
God), if God were not eternal, we are indeed of all men most miserable. But, to modify a phrase that Paul uses^, by virtue of creation, history, incarnation, resurrection, ascension,
our regeneration, the Son of God's intercession, and the promise of Messiah's return and reign, "we are persuaded of [infinitely] better things of [God]"!
In the Bible version I use for research,^^ there are 20 instances
of "for ever and ever" in the Old Covenant scriptures and 23 in the New Covenant. The tally for the New Covenant is 9, until we which the last book of that compilation, the Book of Revelation. Within it, John's apocalyptic, vision-saturated writing adds another 14 references of "for ever and ever" to the mix.^^^ Noticing John's numerous contributions, I felt prompted to write a short poem about
"for ever and ever", focusing on Revelation 4:8-10:
What makes redemption possible?
That You have loved us first,
with sovereignty immutable?
That rocks would sing from the dirt?
Is it your sinless, holy being,
or that You came in flesh?
All these, each one in canvassing
sufficiently shout "Yes!"
Still, that You live forever and ever
is what drove John's strange visions,
which in totality say "Come,
complete, Lord, our redemption!"
^^ I searched the instances of "for ever and ever" from
a .pdf of the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society
^^^ Usage of "forever and ever" in the Bible:
Psalms 9:5; 10:16; 20:4; 45:6,17; 48:14
Psalms 52:8; 111:8; 119:44; 132:14; 145:1,2,21; 148:6
Jeremiah 7:7; 25:5
Daniel 2:20; 7:18; 12:3
1 Timothy 1:17
2 Timothy 4:18
Hebrews 1:8; 13:21
1 Peter 4:11; 5:11
Revelation 1:6,18; 4:9,10; 5:13; 7:12; 10:6; 11:15
Revelation 14:11; 15:7; 19:3; 20:10; 22:5; 15:18
Edited by Ragamuffin_John