Do you “live in the past?” “Do not say, ‘Why were the former days better than these?’ For you do not inquire wisely concerning this” (Ecclesiastes 7:10 NKJV). When we have only good memories about the past, we (1) have faulty memories, and (2) probably haven’t learned much. Life is a great teacher, but lessons come from both good and bad. “Let grace be shown to the wicked, Yet he will not learn righteousness” (Isaiah 26:10 NKJV). It is important to know that “God requires an account of what is past” (Ecclesiastes 3:15 NKJV). Christians have learned that “we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles–when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries” (1 Peter 4:3 NKJV). Good people don’t want to go back! This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.
“The days of our lives add up to seventy years,
or eighty, if one is especially strong.
But even one’s best years are marred by trouble and oppression.
Yes, they pass quickly and we fly away.”
The title to this psalm attributes its authorship to Moses, “A prayer of Moses, the man of God.” Most of his life was one of hardship.
Jesus lived 30-plus years. He came to die for man’s sin. His years were short, but his life was full. Our time on earth is short-lived and full of trouble. In Christ, life is blessed and eternal.
“Let each one remain in that situation in life in which he was called. … In whatever situation someone was called, brothers and sisters, let him remain in it with God.”
1 Corinthians 7.20, 24
Paul addressed the human tendency to want to be somewhere else, to be somebody else. Sin of course must be abandoned, but with God any life situation provides meaning and fulfillment.
What do you find unpleasant about your life situation? How can God bring redemption and joy in it?
“My days are coming to an end,
and I am withered like grass.”
This psalm is “the prayer of an oppressed man, as he grows faint and pours out his lament before the Lord” (superscript). He appeals to the Lord who rules forever, v. 12, and whose “years do not come to an end” v. 27.
The rigors and strains of life take their toll, as well as suffering for the faith. How do saints remain encouraged and strong in the Lord?
“For everything there is an appointed time,
and an appropriate time for every activity on earth:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to uproot what was planted;”
Solomon apparently believed there is a fixed order of events determined by God. Humans are not independent of God. Just as he set the heavenly lights to determine seasons and years, so he determines the times for human activities.
If there is an appointed time to die, and that appointed time is not known to us, then now is the appropriate time to prepare for the moment of death.
The Scripture teaches that Jesus gave up His life for us individually. That is, He gave up His life for all those who love the Lord and call on His name (John 3:16; Acts 2:21). Paul wrote to those of Galatia, “who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father” (Galatians 1:4, ESV). Reflect on this for a moment: Jesus gave up His life, that we might have life. We should respect this gift of life given to us in such a way that our lives are changed, changed in the direction of holiness. “…but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy’” (1 Peter 1:15-16, ESV). RT