“For man sees that even the wise die; the fool and the stupid alike must perish and leave their wealth to others. Their graves are their homes forever, their dwelling places to all generations, though they called lands by their names. Man in his pomp will not remain; he is like the beasts that perish.”
“Now that’s a strange Scripture to use for a seed of the Kingdom!”, I can hear some of you saying. And I agree! But as I was reading through the Psalms in the new English Standard Version, I was struck by the acute simplicity of the message of these verses – it doesn’t matter who you are, rich or poor, wise or stupid, we are all no different from the beasts of the field, in that there is a limit on our physical life-span.
There is nothing more certain than the fact that a day will come when our earthly lives come to an end. You may even have something important named after you – many buildings, states, provinces and even countries have borne the name of famous individuals – but not even that can make anyone live a day longer than God intends – it does absolutely nothing for anyone’s longevity!
Our news headlines are often punctuated by the news that someone significant has died. I regularly read the obituaries in the Daily Telegraph – very occasionally it’s of someone I once met or knew. The news of someone passing away like this is an almost daily reminder of the truth of our Scripture. It doesn’t matter who you are – one day you will be a headline and then the rest of the world will move on without you. My brother described death as like waiting on the railway platform for your train to come down the line, then stop, pick you up and take you on to your next destination.
The wonder of the Gospel is that, even though physical death is a certainty, believers have nothing to fear. Those who are in Christ have already tasted eternal life and they know where their destination is going to be. They are already in Christ and with Christ and because, as Jesus said, He has gone before to prepare a place for us, we can face the reality of our verse for today without any fear or anxiety. We live in a world where wealth, reputation, and what men think of us has become the pre-occupation of prosperous humanity. We will all leave our earthly possessions behind, but the riches that are the possession of the believer are ours for time and eternity.
As we approach the Easter Season, let us give ourselves to making it a time of great thanksgiving that Jesus is alive for evermore and preparing a place for you and for me. (John 14:1-6).
Prayer: Help me, Lord, to live every day as if it was going to be my last, fulfilling all the purposes You have for me on earth and trusting You who are my security and my life. Thank you for the eternal riches you have prepared for all Your children. In the Name of our wonderful Saviour, Jesus. Amen.