Job 9:25-11:20; 1 Corinthians 15:12-28; Psalms 39:1-5; Proverbs 13:5-6
Psalms: “Lord, make me aware of my end and the number of my days so that I will know how short-lived I am. In fact, you have made my days just inches long, and my life span is as nothing to you. Yes, every human being stands as only a vapor. Selah” (Psalms 39:4-5 CSB)
When King David wrote this psalm, he was going through a challenging trial – so challenging that he was concerned that he would inadvertently say something in anger and frustration that would dishonor God. So, to keep from saying something he shouldn’t, David didn’t say anything at all… and it was wearing away at him. David was growing weary and worn out. In his weariness, he was reminded of how short and insignificant our lives on earth are. Compared to the span of time, our lives are but a blip – a small scratch on timeline that extends far beyond our gaze. And the span of time itself is but a blip within endless eternity.
We tend to put utmost importance on what we know and see. From our perspective, all we can see is the time we are living in now. We tend to think that this time in history is the most significant time ever, and it is hard to see beyond our meager lives… so we put all our efforts into trying to enjoy what we can before we die. Americans, because of our relative prosperity in the world, tend to think of life as a spring break vacation – a time to party and indulge all of our senses, so we drop enormous amounts of resources to feed the desires of our flesh – all the while ignoring those in other areas of the world who live outside our periphery and beyond our line of sight. When challenges come and we can’t “enjoy” life any longer, and our indulgence turns into suffering, we can lose hope and try to find anything that will ease the pain and bring some sort of happiness to our existence.
There is, however, more to our existence than the years that we inhabit in our mortal bodies. For some, that is good news – for others, not so much. For those who have placed saving faith in Jesus Christ, this life is the worst we will experience. For those who have not placed saving faith in Jesus Christ, this life is they best they will ever experience. This life will eventually end – eternity will not. How we prioritize our life now sets us up for how we will spend eternity. Do we live our lives now with eternity in mind, or de we simply live for the moment? King David did not want to sacrifice his eternal standing for momentary satisfaction, and neither should we.
NT: “If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation is in vain, and so is your faith… And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins… But as it is, Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead also comes through a man. For just as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ, the firstfruits; afterward, at his coming, those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, when he abolishes all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign until he puts all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be abolished is death.” (1 Corinthians 15:13-14, 17, 20-26 CSB)
Humanity was created and has a finite beginning. However, humanity was created to live eternally with God without end. Adam brought sin into humanity’s existence – and by subjecting humanity to sin, he also subjected humanity to a separation from Life – also known as death. Because mankind is eternal, there will come a time at the end of this age when all who have lived will be resurrected to face a final judgement. People will either be resurrected to eternal life with God, or they will be resurrected to face eternal separation from God who is the source of life and anything good. Resurrection is sure – Christ’s resurrection from the dead proved that. Christ was the firstfruits of those who will rise to eternal life with God. Just as Adam brought death to humanity, Christ brought the promise of a resurrection to eternal life to all who believe in Him. For those who are resurrected in Christ, they will spend eternity with God the Father and the Son – eternally separated from death, and living in the fullness of life. Those who are not resurrected in Christ will join death in eternal separation from life.
Prayer: Lord, Your word teaches that there is more to my existence than the sum of years that I live in my mortal body – however many years that may be. I thank You that through my saving faith in Your life, death and resurrection, I too will be raised to eternal life in You to be ever-present with God. Help me, by Your grace, to not merely live for this life, but to live with eternity in mind and store up treasures in heaven which cannot be destroyed. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.