We’ve just started a new sermon series on the Book of Ecclesiastes. This book contains the thoughts of a man who reflected deeply on how short and contradictory human life is, with its unexplained injustices and frustrations.
He concludes that life is ‘hebel’ – like a breath or vapour, life is temporary, elusive and frail, inconsequential even, to a certain extent. He could not understand the ways of God, who controls human destiny. Yet, in spite of this, he advised people to work hard, and to enjoy the gifts of God as much and as long as they could.
I’ve always appreciated passages of scripture that remind us of our mortality. Although we live with a view to eternity, it is good for us to remember that we are only on this earth for a comparatively short time. Psalm 103 is one of those perspective-giving passages. Psalm 103:15-16 (ESV):
15 As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field; 16 the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.
We are all born, live for a time and then die. Those of us who know and trust the Lord Jesus are promised eternal life. But how often do we take stock of our life and consider our mortality? Numerous passages in the Bible encourage us to make the most of the time we have on this earth. Everything we do in this life matters to the extent that it prepares us or others for eternity.
We are instructed to live our lives in the light of eternity, and in the certainty of God’s final word. This is summed up perfectly in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 (NIV):
13 Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. 14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.
The LORD bless you and keep you.