by: Gary L. Hutchens
Here we are near the end of the first month of a new year. Are you suddenly wondering where the month has gone? In a few more months people will be expressing amazement at how much of the year has already passed. A few months after that we’ll wonder where the year has gone. As the years of our life mount up, time seems to fly by more and more quickly. The bottom-line reality is, Life Is Short!
The Psalmist wrote, “The days of our lives are seventy years; And if by reason of strength they are eighty years, Yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; For it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” (Ps. 90:10). To a fifteen year old eighty years seems like forever. To a thirty five year old it seems like a long way off. To a fifty year old it only seems like a fairly long way off. To a sixty five year old it’s getting closer to reality. To a seventy five year old it seems like yesterday. Life Is Short!
The scriptures repeatedly remind us of this reality. Note how often the book of Job addressed it. “My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle, And are spent without hope. Oh, remember that my life is a breath!” (Job 7:6-7). A few verses later, “For my days are but a breath.” (vs. 16). The next chapter: “Because our days on earth are a shadow.” (Job 8:9). A few chapters later, “Man who is born of woman Is of few days and full of trouble. He comes forth like a flower and fades away; He flees like a shadow and does not continue.” (Job 14:1-2). Life Is Short!
In addition to Psalm 90, several other psalms speak of life’s brevity. “For He remembered that they were but flesh, A breath that passes away and does not come again.” (Ps. 78:39). Again, “My days are like a shadow that lengthens, And I wither away like grass.” (Ps. 102:11). And again, “As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, And its place remembers it no more.” (Ps. 103:15-16). And yet again, “Man is like a breath; His days are like a passing shadow.” (Ps. 144:4). Life Is Short!
The New Testament also emphasizes the shortness of life in this world. James wrote, “whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” (Jas. 4:14). Peter noted, “because All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, And its flower falls away,” (1 Pet. 1:24). Life Is Short!
What is the fundamental lesson for us in regard to this repeated emphasis? We need to always be ready for that moment when we will breathe our last breath and face our Lord at judgment. The rich farmer appeared to have learned this lesson too late. He benefited greatly from a bumper harvest and was ready to take his ease. However, God told him he would die that very night, and his soul would be required of him. His earthly riches could not secure him a place in Heaven (Lk. 12:16-21). Life Is Short!
Each one of us will die. Then comes the judgment, and we will enter into eternity, either eternal life or eternal condemnation. “…it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,” (Heb. 9:27). Hell is too awful to risk. Learn the lesson, don’t waste your time and fail to be ready. Life Is too Short!…
Gary L. Hutchens