The Essence of Finitude

Psa. 39:4
O Lord, make me know my end
                and what is the measure of my days;
                let me know how fleeting I am!
5         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! Selah
6          Surely a man goes about as a shadow!
        Surely for nothing they are in turmoil;
        man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather!

One of the main reasons people twiddle away their lives is the fact that they have not learned to number their days. They keep out of their vision the fact that they will return to dust. They will die either very quickly or a very slow way. Either way, they will cease from the earth and be consumed by the earth. Worms will eat their flesh and their bones will deteriorate every day once their heart stops pumping.

As David says, ”We are a mere breath!“ Go under the water. No matter how long you hold your breath, you cannot do it for longer than a few minutes. How foolish the man that thinks he can forever keep his breath in his lungs underwater. He will either die because of his pride or he will have to admit that he is unable.

So it is with the Lord’s parable of our finitude. My wife and I met a man yesterday who had heaped up wealth for himself. He had two Jaguar cars, a Lotus, a Blackberry, and a nice suit. What vanity and how passing! Before the world blinks once, he will be riddled with wrinkles and disease. As the Preacher has said, ”It is all vanity.“ a man gathers for the benefit of another. He leaves his inheritance for a people he does not know. How much energy is spent in the travails of being better than the neighbor rather than giving up for the sake of our neighbor.

I am sitting in a coffee shop and the nations are raging and plotting in vain. Not necessarily in battle lines against the Anointed, but do not be fooled. They are in rebellion against their Maker. They do not give praise and thanks to the one who has given them life and breath. What do we have that we did not receive (1 Cor. 4:7)? Nothing.

Oh! God, teach us to number our days.

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