From Pastor Ben
Today being Saturday after Thanksgiving here is an easy trivia question:
Which of the following animals are not mentioned in the song,"Home on the Range"? Was it the Deer, or was it the Sheep, or maybe even the Antelope, ir how 'bout the Buffalo? Guess which one you think it is.
"None of us can hold back our spirit from departing. None of us has the power to prevent the day of our death. There is no escaping that obligation, that dark battle. And in the face of death, wickedness will certainly not rescue the wicked."
In this verse we are reminded of our human weakness and frailty. Throughout man's existence he has attempted to extend, and control his time on this earth. However, as Solomon warns us, we are unable to have any control for these issues. Only our Lord and Savior can promise even one more minute.
First, he reminds us that we have no control of the end of this life, as we know it. This has been an age old struggle for today's present day mankind. This is true especially for wealthy, powerful people. You see, most of them have been accustomed to having a fair amount of control in their lives. The influence of monetary gain has given them such ability that they become convinced that they deserve this level of control also.
Second, those who have committed themselves to dark, wicked dealings are convinced that those successes in their life are what matter. With all of the strength that the evil one will have given them, he will continue to give them control over even their time of separation from life to death. They will have experienced very little opposition from their evil ally and he promises support that he is unable to give. John 10:18 reminds us that only the Son of God is capable of controlling anyone's time of death.
Hebrews 9:27 reminds of this one inevitable fact, "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: then verses 28 goes on to say, "So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation."
Solomon is reminding us that no force of this world is deserving or able to alter the forces of God. Only those who repent of their evil doings and request that Jesus cleanse their sins, are made free from this world's evil. He promises us freedom in Christ alone.
I remember as a young teen entering into an underwater swimming contest while Dad and I were at a Father - Son retreat. There were probably 25 boys who decided to swim underwater to see who could swim the longest without coming up for air. The whistle was blown and we were off to the races. Unbeknownst to me a tree fell just as we dove under water. Of course, it landed on me, holding me captive to its weight. Once everyone came out of the water I was no where to be found. The boys looked back and saw my bubbles but thought I was just playing around. Finally they saw the small branch above water. They then raced back and together picked up the tree to release me. I had passed out, so they brought me out and Dad gave me mouth to mouth. I threw up and began breathing. That experience reminded me that life is a gift from God and just how uncertain that the end can be. Without notice, we may suddenly pass into eternity.
SO GO WITH GOD, for He will be the one welcoming us on the other side of eternity. That next Sunday at church I was reminded of God's eternal presence in my life. I thought about how He lovingly holds our lives in His hands.
I was reminded just last week of that time in my life, and the lifetime of friends who rushed to my aide. My Heavenly Father brought that event back to my memory from some fifty years ago to remind me of that which I had forgotten about. His loving hands held onto me through that experience. Oh my dear one, rest in His care for He cares for you, each and every day.