For the wicked are reserved for the day of doom;They shall be brought out on the day of wrath. ~Job 21:30
I was recently listening to Dr. J. Vernon McGee and his commentary on the Book of Job, of which I always find fascinating & always something new to learn or pick-up. God deeply loves each of us and, unlike mankind, He has a habit of giving us more chances than we would tend to give others to repent of our ways and change our lives. Many accept Him & change, others do not and maintain their path of self destruction, until their death and final judgement.
We are told the following in the Matthew Henry Commentaries:
Job here asserts? Two things:—(1.) That impenitent sinners will certainly be punished in the other world, and, usually, their punishment is put off until then. (2.) That therefore we are not to think it strange if they prosper greatly in this world and fall under no visible token of God’s wrath. Therefore they are spared now, because they are to be punished then; therefore the workers of iniquity flourish, that they may be destroyed for ever, Ps. 92:7. The sinner is here supposed, [1.] To live in a great deal of power, so as to be not only the terror of the mighty in the land of the living (Ezek. 32:27), but the terror of the wise and good too, whom he keeps in such awe that none dares declare his way to his face, Job 21:31. And,
[2.] To die, and be buried in a great deal of pomp and magnificence, Job 21:32, 33. There is no remedy; he must die; that is the lot of all men; but every thing you can think of shall be done to take off the reproach of death. First, He shall have a splendid funeral—a poor thing for any man to be proud of the prospect of; yet with some it passes for a mighty thing. Well, he shall be brought to the grave in state, surrounded with all the honours of the heralds’ office and all the respect his friends can then pay to his remains. The rich man died, and was buried, but no mention is made of the poor man’s burial, Luke 16:22. Secondly, He shall have a stately monument erected over him. He shall remain in the tomb with a Hic jacet—Here lies, over him, and a large encomium. Perhaps it is meant of the embalming of his body to preserve it, which was a piece of honour anciently done by the Egyptians to their great men. He shall watch in the tomb (so the word is), shall abide solitary and quiet there, as a watchman in his tower. Thirdly, The clods of the valley shall be sweet to him; there shall be as much done as can be with rich odors to take off the noisomeness of the grave, as by lamps to set aside the darkness of it, which perhaps was referred to in the foregoing phrase of watching in the tomb. But it is all a jest; what is the light, or what the perfume, to a man that is dead? Fourthly, It shall be alleged, for the lessening of the disgrace of death, that it is the common lot: He has only yielded to fate, and every man shall draw after him, as there are innumerable before him.
Job infers the impertinence of their discourses, Job 21:34. (1.) Their foundation is rotten, and they went upon a wrong hypothesis: “In your answers there remains falsehood; what you have said stands not only unproved but disproved, and lies under such an imputation of falsehood as you cannot clear it from.” (2.) Their building was therefore weak and tottering: “You comfort me in vain. All you have said gives me no relief; you tell me that I shall prosper again if I turn to God, but you go upon this presumption, that piety shall certainly be crowned with prosperity, which is false; and therefore how can your inference from it yield me any comfort?” Keep in mind: Where there is not truth there is little comfort to be expected.
We are each destined to die but one time; point in fact, we are born only to die, but what is it that we shall do between our birth and death…that is the big question?? Will you seek God’s will in your life? Or, will you follow your own way to die, with certain judgement? To follow the way God teaches us, we will still be judged; but with a better outcome is assured.
It is what we do with that dash in the middle of our birth and our death that truly matters. How do we treat others? Do we try to spread the Word of God to our friends, neighbors, and those we just meet on the street? Do we tell others of the love of the Christ? The fact that He died for all of us because of our sins to lay us bare at the feet of our heavenly Father?
As Pastor Jason Epperson (Calvary Church [www.calvary.ch]) stated today at service, “It is the dash that matters!” What we do right now, a minute from now, and as a matter of ethics what we do up until our demise? We as Christians will be judged on all those moments from birth until death, what we say, how we act, & all that we do. The average person lives approximately 76 years. That equates to: 27,740 days; 665,760 hours; 39,945,600 minutes; or 2,396,736,000 seconds. A moment can span from a fraction of a second up to a few seconds or a minute – subjectively speaking.
Just think about it!
May God richly bless you all!
MK Murphy, PhD, DD