Bible Pathways 7/1/2001
Read Psalms 36 -- 39
As David sat watching a fire burning, its bright flames slowly turning to ashes, he was reminded of how life, once bright, soon fades and eventually ends in death. The Holy Spirit moved him to write: While I was musing the fire burned (out) (Psalms 39:3). This was a reminder of how inspiring and promising life seemed, but how soon life will end, David then prayed: Lord, make me to know my end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am (39:4). David's prayer points out that the brevity of life is an issue for everyone to consider, not just senior citizens. However, our culture seeks to distract us from realizing that opportunities for fulfilling the will of God are quickly gone.
David continued: Behold, You have made my days as a handbreadth; and my age (lifetime) is as nothing before You (39:5).
Compared to eternity, earthly life is but a handbreadth, insignificant in its size. Yet, strangely enough, how easy it is to be caught up with daily activities, so much so that we lose sight of the fact that our life is always just one breath away from death. We too need to pray each day: "Lord, make me realize how brief my life on earth really is."
Most people's time and energy are devoted to preparations for earthly securities and pleasures. Many make the fatal mistake of waiting too long for a "convenient time" to serve the Lord, who said: Let him deny himself and take up his cross daily (today) and follow Me (Luke 9:23).
David continued: Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry . . . for I am . . . a sojourner (a mere temporary resident), as all my fathers were (Psalms 39:12). In our brief journey on earth, we may sometimes retrace our steps or repeat a task; but, in our journey through life, wasted time can never be recovered. This points out how seriously we need to consider what God would have us do today and not some time in the future.
Death will forever separate us from all of the material things that we now prize and hold dear. And, for the majority of us, death will come unexpectedly, and much sooner than we think. Let us pray for spiritual insight and for deliverance from selfish goals that reduce our opportunities to help reach a lost world with the Words of eternal life.
Another psalmist prayed: Teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom (90:12). Surely David's prayer was recorded so that it would impress upon us the vital importance of turning our hearts in search of true wisdom. Truly, our obligation is to be redeeming the time (Ephesians 5:16). This means that we must take advantage of every opportunity to serve the Lord. Every funeral is a reminder that soon we too will face the Lord to give an account of how we used the time and resources He entrusted to us.
We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to what he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men. . . . that they . . . should not . . . live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them, and rose again (II Corinthians 5:10-11,15).
Christ Revealed: As the Fountain of Life and the Light (Psalms 36:9). In Him was life; and the Life was the Light of men. . . . That was the True Light, which lights every man that comes into the world (John 1:4-9; compare 4:10,14; Rev. 22:1).
Word Studies: 36:7 put their trust under means take refuge in; 38:2 presseth me sore means your punishment presses heavily upon me; 38:8 roared means groaned with anguish; 38:11 sore means afflictions.
NOTE: Definitions may not agree with present-day usage as given in your dictionary; we attempt to explain the thought expressed in the original language.
Pray for your church leaders · Country: Netherlands (16 million) in northwestern Europe · Major language: Dutch · Religious freedom · 39% Roman Catholic; 29% Protestant; 2% Muslim · Prayer Suggestion: Don't try to impress others with your prayers; pray about whatever is on your heart (Matthew 6:7-8).
Optional Reading: Colossians 4
NOTE: Bible Pathway covers the Old Testament with devotional and commentary insights over a nine-month period, January through September. Each day during these months, an optional reading of one chapter a day from the New Testament will also be listed. The October, November, and December issues will provide a daily commentary on the New Testament readings. Thus, the reader goes through the New Testament twice each year using the Bible Pathway plan.
Memory Verse for the Week: II Corinthians 5:10-11,15