Comments, Scriptures and Hymns on five important truths about life
Life: "the animate existence or period of animate existence of an individual." (Dictionary.com)
Job 14:1-2 Man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble. He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not.
Some important truths about life are self-evident. Others require that God show them to us. Below are five important truths about life, three which are understood by most folks, and two (while just as true) are often denied or misunderstood.
1. An inconvenient truth: Life is short even at its longest.
Job tells us we are of few days. Life is brief, which other inspired writers testify, and which fallen man knows by his own experience. The brevity of life is an inconvenient truth -- not suiting one's wants. It is awkward and gets in the way of living forever. Many biblicists believe the world as we know it has existed for six to ten millennia. Even a life extended into the hundreds, as a few long-livers of whom we hear, is but a brief moment in light of that length of time. Though wrong, evolutionists consider the world in terms of billions and billions of years. How insignificant to that span would be our paltry stay here on earth? The God of creation deals not in time, but in eternity. To him a thousand years is as day. How insignificant are we in comparison?
Job 9:25 Now my days are swifter than a post: they flee away, they see no good.
Isaiah 40:6-8 The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.
James 4:14 ...For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
Time! what an empty vapor ‘tis!
Our days, how swift they are,–
Swift as an Indian arrow flies,
Or like a shooting star.
Death, like an overflowing stream,
Sweeps us away; our life’s a dream,
An empty tale, a morning flow’r,
Cut down and withered in an hour.
2. An unpleasant truth: Life is hard and troublesome at its best.
The harsh realities of life are unpleasant. They smudge and scratch our rose covered glasses; they firmly block all our escape routes. In this world of sin and sorrow, the effects of sin are all too real to dismiss and no one escapes them. No, not even by wealth, power or prestige. Even in the most affluent times and situations, man finds his demons inevitably find him.
Ecclesiastes 2:23 For all his days are sorrows, and his travail grief; yea, his heart taketh not rest in the night. This is also vanity.
Job 5:6-7 Although affliction cometh not forth of the dust, neither doth trouble spring out of the ground; Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward.
My life is spent with grief, I cried,
My years consumed with groans;
My strength decays, mine eyes are dried,
And sorrow wastes my bones.
Among mine enemies my name
Was a mere proverb grown,
While to my neighbors I became
Forgotten and unknown.
3. An apparent truth: Life is always seeking to end in death, even when it begins.
"The living know that they must die." Death is certain. It is the end of all life. The Bible and the obituary sections of our newspapers agree in their testimony. From infants in the womb to centenarians; the high, the low; the rich, the poor; all races, all ages, all places. Death is universal. It is one thing we know. It is one thing on which we agree.
Hebrews 9:27 ...it is appointed unto men once to die...
Ecclesiastes 8:8 There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war; neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it.
James 1:15 ...sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
Our life is ever on the wing,
And death is ever nigh;
The moment when our lives begin,
We all begin to die.
Death, ’tis a melancholy day
To those who have no God,
When the poor soul is forced away,
To seek her last abode.
4. An essential truth: Life is the time to serve the Lord.
Life, that brief span between our time to be born and our time to die, is the time to prepare to meet God. Mankind often does not take the one thing he knows -- the certainty of death -- and apply to it wisdom. Wisdom tells us to remember God while there is life and while there is hope. When the living tree of our lives transform into the felled tree of death -- where that tree has fallen is where it shall be.
Ecclesiastes 11:3 ...and if the tree fall toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be.
Ecclesiastes 12:1 Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;
Life is the time to serve the Lord,
The time t’ensure the great reward;
And while the lamp holds out to burn,
The vilest sinner may return.
5. An encouraging truth: Life is not the end of our existence.
Loretta Lynn once sang, "Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die." Isaac Watts wrote, "Death is the gate of endless joy, and yet we dread to enter there." To fallen man, death is our enemy, the end of our animate life. But that animate temporal life is not the end of our existence. Providentially, God engages our last enemy to transfer the Christian into His presence! Death is an end, but it is not an eternal end. Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:19-20 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
1 Thessalonians 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
When from the dead He raised His Son
And called Him to the sky,
He gave our souls a living hope
That they should never die.
[Note: All poems quoted are by Isaac Watts.]