Life. Death. Fleeting days. Unending eternity. These are all topics that we’ve covered so far in our three-part mini-series on the brevity of life. However, by this point you may be thinking, If life is so short why can’t we just enjoy it? Or What sort of difference can I possibly make with my little life and why would it matter? Why can’t we spend life loving the Lord and longing for heaven?
So why this mini-series? To you, it may seem like a random, sober topic to bring up without much notice or apparent occasion. Well, God has surrounded me with the loss and passing of individuals both in my family and in the family of people I know. So while it may seem random and out of place for you, the topic of life’s brevity has been brought to my attention and claimed center stage in my reflections and ponderings as of late.
“It’s not the years in a life, but the life in those years.” So states this widely known and used maxim. While its original author is unknown, this adage utters much wisdom and perspective on the priorities of life. People from most walks of life, both Christian and non-Christian, have resonated with this concept, hence the quote’s popularity and broad usage. However, while the latter clings to this as the one thing that matters, the last hope, and the end goal, the Christian recognizes a deeper truth and meaning.
“For thus says the LORD: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.
I will be found by you, declares the LORD, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the LORD, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.”
Sent into exile, thousands of miles from home, captives in a foreign land, and separated from the God of their fathers. The Israelite exiles in Babylon had every reason to feel discouraged, lost, and broken. Even though this was because of their own sin, they probably felt far away and distant from God and rejected by Him.
God has a wonderful plan and purpose for your life. We love this promise and widely use the supporting verse during graduation season. And while this is true, we often don’t realize this promise and verse was actually given to a people facing the just wrath of God. A people who had sinned greatly against the God of their fathers, had ignited His anger, and forsaken the Lord. So God brought disaster and punishment upon them and allowed them to be taken captive and exiled in the land of Babylon.
After redeeming and rescuing the people of Israel from their bondage in Egypt, God gave them ten simple rules called the Ten Commandments. But now over 700 years later, the people called by the LORD couldn’t even keep the first one: “You shall have no other gods before Me.”
Last year, I did a personal Bible study on the book of Jeremiah. At the time, I was not ready to share the insights I gained, but now, during this interlude between Bible studies, I’ll give you a brief mini-series synopsizing a few of the nuggets and truths I found in this great book.
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