Friday, April 11, 2014

Walking With Death

The words of David in Psalms 139:14, brings me to a moment of reflection when he says, "... for I am fearfully and wonderfully made ..."

The body is indeed, "wonderfully made," both male and female.  When God said ... "Let Us make man in Our image" ... He begins with the male.  He  makes him bigger, stronger, rougher, and man enough to protect and provide for his physically weaker female partner ... the woman, made so the man wouldn't be alone. 

So for the man, God makes a loving, sensitive, caring companion and helper ... which most men will agree ... was formed exquisitely nice, delicate, beautiful and desirable.  I can hear Adam saying when he first saw Eve ... "Wow." 

Back to what David said.  He is not saying that we are wonderful ... we are not.  But we are wonderfully made.  Who else but God could put this body together with all of it's different parts being held together with something as thin as our skin and then breathe "life" into it?

Solomon, speaking to we humans, states in Ecclesiastes 11:5 ... "As thou knowest not ...  how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh  all."  (And we still don't ... we just think we know.)

Isaiah 44:24-25 speaks to this as well ... "Thus saith the Lord, thy redeemer, and He that formed thee from the womb, I am the Lord that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by Myself ... that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish ..."

Even though medical science knows and understands much about the human body and how it works, (including the process God uses to reproduce) ... science cannot explain what the spark of life is that causes an embryo to become animated and come alive.  In other words ... what causes "life" to begin. 

They know texture of the human body, what it is made of, and even how the complexity of cells work together as if it's a machine ... pumping, flowing, beating, breathing, all in a perfect unison of rhythm ... if everything is operating as it should.

But both male and female are equally subject to accident or injury that can impair or destroy parts of the body that are necessary to the continuance of life.  Because we are so fragile, we are therefore ... "fearfully made."  Things can go wrong.   As we didn't come with a guarantee, we have only the providence of God to trust in for our maintenance and safe keeping.  That in itself is a pretty good guarantee. 

It seems to me that God has made us this way to show us our frailty, as we keep "life" in view, knowing that we are in reality  ... "walking with death" ... whether imminent or not, because it is always only a breath or heartbeat away.

Speaking of man in general, Job 14:5 states ... "Seeing his days are determined … thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass …"

The meaning is this ... the boundaries of man's life, the period of his days beyond which he cannot go; the term of man's life is so peremptorily fixed and settled by God, that he cannot die sooner, nor live longer than God has determined he should.  Just as the time of a man's birth, so the time of his death is according to the purpose of God, and all things that will come to man throughout the whole course of his life … they all fall under "the appointment of God" and are according to His design and will. 

I believe that each of us may have a hand in or play a part in our own death.  According to Scripture, God has fixed the number of man's days, so that they cannot be exceeded, nor can death be avoided.  But, although man cannot live past his appointed bounds, he may also live such a sinful and hard life that he may never reach them as it states in ...

Psalms 55:23 … "bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days …" or as it reads in the Hebrew ... "men of blood and deceit."

The meaning is to people of violence, and those who live false, deceitful lives.  But would not this also apply to those who live wild or hard lives such as drunks, drug addicts, etc.  If you flirt with death you might arrive there sooner than is necessary.      

All of us were born with the ability to sin, making us potential sinners from the start.  As we grew, sin felt almost at home in us ... at least it did in our flesh.  That's why the Apostle Paul said in Romans 3:23 ... "For all have sinned ..." and we did.  Later Paul adds in Romans 6:23 ... "For the wages of sin is death ..."

Why did I say earlier that we are "walking with death?"  Because "death came by man" and "as in Adam all die."  (1st Corinthians 15:21-22)

Consider Job's statement unto God … "For I know that thou wilt bring me to death, and to the house appointed for all living."  (Job 30:23)

The phrase "to death" means to the house of the dead, or to the place where the dead are … the grave.  That house is "appointed" for all; the rich and the poor, young or old, and it is not by chance that we go there ... it has been so ordained.  It is fixed and settled that all should die.
Job knows the case with him will be as with all men; death has become necessary because of sin, which brought the sentence of death on all men by the decree and appointment of God. 

But someday ... "The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death."  (1st Corinthians 15:26)  Until then, death will continue to be something we must face in our bodies of flesh.

I think Paul, as well as the other early Apostles of faith would certainly agree that they were "walking with death" daily as they proclaimed the good news of Christ during that first century of the Christian Church.

Paul spoke for them also when he said ... "We are confident ... and willing to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord." 

Yes, death may have been waiting for them around the next bend in the road or in the next city, but the reality was that they ... "walked with Jesus" ... not with death.

So do you and I ...

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