What was God doing before he created the universe?

St Augustine had a very interesting response to this question in the 5th century. He says that before God made the world there was no time. It does not make sense to ask the question to begin with because before the creation of the world there was no time. Time was created by God when he made the universe, so there was no “before” or “after” before the world was made; the creation of the world included the first moment in time.

It can be difficult to understand time, but the simple view is to think of time as a measurement of change. God, who is unchangeable and is in perfect state is so without the universe or anything outside of himself. So the image which most times prompt the question which is of a lonely God is flawed. God exists outside of time because he does not change just as the bible says:

“Every good endowment and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change”


“For I am the Lord, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.”

Malachi 3:6

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.

Isaiah 40:28