Tag Archive | On the Shortness of Life

The Bible on the Shortness of Life

The Bible on the Shortness of Life

What does the Bible say about the length of our days? It says are days are short. Here’s the Bible on the shortness of life:

Job 8:9

“For we are but of yesterday and know nothing,
for our days on earth are a shadow.”

Psalm 39:4-5

“O Lord, make me know my end
and what is the measure of my days;
let me know how fleeting I am!
Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths,
and my lifetime is as nothing before you.
Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath!”

Psalm 90:10

“The years of our life are seventy,
or even by reason of strength eighty;
yet their span is but toil and trouble;
they are soon gone, and we fly away.”

Psalm 103:15-16

“As for man, his days are like grass;
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.”

James 4:13-15

“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’—yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.’”

What hope is there in the face of death? In the face of the shortness of life?

 

*Photo by Scott Rodgerson

Do we live for a mere inscription on a tomb?

Do we live for a mere inscription on a tomb?

Is there meaning to this madness? Is it just a rat race and then nothing but a cold, silent, and rotten end? Do we live for a mere inscription on a tomb? An inscription that will inevitably fade with the passage of time?

Seneca Said,

“When you see a man often wearing the robe of office, when you see one whose name is famous in the Forum, do not envy him; those things are bought at the price of life. They will waste all their years, in order that they may have one year reckoned by their name… Some, when they have crawled up through a thousand indignities to the crowning dignity, have been possessed by the unhappy thought that they have but toiled for an inscription on a tomb” (“On the Shortness of Life“).

Christ gives much more to live for. Christ gives us motivation for going “through a thousand indignities.” Christ gives meaning and motivation because through His resurrection our labor in the Lord—whatever it is—is not in vain (1 Cor. 15:58)! We can please the Lord and work heartedly unto the Lord in whatever we do (1 Cor. 10:31; Col. 3:23-24)!

So, the goal of a Christian is not to “wear the robe of office” or be “famous in the Forum.” The goal of a Christian is to put a smile on the face of God their Father and hear: “Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”

Perhaps that will entail being famous in the Forum or wearing the robe of office but the Christian is indifferent. The Christian’s goal is the same whether a pauper a prince: “He must become greater; I must become less” (Jn. 3:10). Christians know that when they do what’s right, they are still unworthy servants; who have only done what was their duty (Lk. 17:10).

So, no; we, or at least Christians, do not live for an inscription on a tomb. But rather for the One who forever takes us beyond the tomb. We live for the veil to lift so we can see the full marvelous glory of God; so we can continually taste of the goodness of God. It is about God and His glory. He deserves all glory and our very purpose is found in enjoying His glory and glorifying Him in the myriads ways that He has called us to.

Christians “crawl” up through a thousand indignities to the crowning dignity of eternal and endless delight.

So, no matter what they tell us, or no matter what we feel, there is a telos. There is a point. There is meaning.

Our end does not have to be the grave because of God.

_

 *Photo by Ronni Kurtz
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