“So teach us to number our days, that we may present to Thee a heart of wisdom.”
Recently, my oldest daughter witnessed a serious car accident. Driving down a country road on a beautiful sunny morning, the car right in front of her was broadsided and flipped four times. In the split second that my daughter realized that the approaching car was not going to stop at the stop sign, she hit her brakes. However, the driver in front of her did not notice danger coming and was caught unaware. I would guess that neither one of those drivers expected trouble of this sort when they got out on the road that lovely morning. If they had, what might they have done differently?
Recently there have been speculations from both the world and the church of impending disaster occurring on September 23. The date has come and gone without disaster, but if they had really believed their predictions, how might they have lived differently?
God’s word tells us that things will not always continue on as they are today. Through both the Old and New Testament prophets, God has unveiled the things which will happen in the future, in the Day of the Lord. We may disagree about the timing and sequence of events, but God is clear that there is a day of judgment coming for the wicked and a day of reward for the righteous. If we really believe this, what difference should it make in our lives?
First of all, we need to listen to God as He speaks to us through His word, and then believe what He says to us! When Ezekiel was warning the people of his day of impending judgment, their response in Ezekiel 12 is essentially, “Yes, yes, you have been saying this for a very long time, but nothing has happened yet…so….” Ezekiel’s response was from the Lord God, “None of my words will be delayed any longer. Whatever words I speak will be performed.” What was the reason for His seeming delay? “Repent and turn away from all your transgressions. For why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies…therefore repent and live.” (Ezekiel 19:30-32)
Peter, in 2 Peter 3, speaks of those in the last days who will mock His coming since it had not yet happened. Peter assured them that, “the Lord is not slow about His promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance.” God’s delay to bring judgment is so that more people may repent! What an insight into the loving heart of our God! So then, how are we to live? Peter says that knowing these things we are to live holy and godly lives, being diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless. In 1 Thessalonians 5, Paul tells us, “not to sleep as others do, but be alert and sober. We are not in darkness that the day should overtake us like a thief.” Also, we are to regard every day that He delays as a day of grace. Who can we tell about Jesus? Who needs to turn from darkness to light?
So whether the Lord returns for His bride, or whether our own day comes to be with Him, let’s live every day in holy anticipation of seeing Him, who our soul loves. Paul tells the faithful brethren in Colossae to, “set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.” (Col. 3:2-3). Then, friends, we will really live!!