Wednesday, April 4, 2018

For Some, This World is All There Is

The 17th Psalm is a prayer of David and his conclusion contains the following:

"Arise, O Lord, disappoint him, cast him down: deliver my soul from the wicked, which is thy sword: from men which are thy hand, O Lord, from men of the world, which have their portion in this life, and whose belly thou fillest with thy hid treasure: they are full of children, and leave the rest of their substance to their babes."
(verses 13-14, King James Version).

Two more recent translations render the passage similarly.

"Arise, O Lord, confront him, bring him low; deliver my soul from the wicked with your sword, from men with your hand, O Lord, from men of the world, whose portion is in this life, and whose belly you fill with your treasure; they are satisfied with children, and leave their abundance to their babes."
(New American Standard)

"Arise, O Lord! Confront him, subdue him! Deliver my soul from the wicked by your sword, from men by your hand, O Lord, from men of the world whose portion is in this life. You fill their womb with treasure; they are satisfied with children, and they leave their abundance to their infants."
(English Standard Version)

No matter which translation you use, the message is the same. And, the part of this particular message which grabbed my attention today is in verse 14: "which have their portion in this life". For some (David calls them wicked in verse 13), this life is all there is.

God is often gracious to such individuals, yet they never acknowledge Him. He fills their bellies, giving them food, possessions, notoriety, money, influence, power, offspring, or a thousand other earthly "treasures". But, no word of gratitude is offered up to the giving Lord. For these individuals, this world is all they have. When their life ends, "the rest of their substance" ("their abundance") will be left with their children ("you can't take it with you"). Nothing of enjoyment remains for them for they have enjoyed God's blessings in this life but are not prepared for the life that is yet to come.

In fact, it is not uncommon to find those people who serve and worship God encountering a multitude of hardships during this life the aforementioned people never experience. You see, God has promised something MUCH better for them than for those who reject Him. So, for now, He permits the "wicked" to enjoy this life for that is all there is for them.

The believer in Christ is a mere pilgrim in this world. We are no longer citizens of this earth for our citizenship is in Heaven. God has promised us an abundance in the life to come. It will be a perfect life, a sinless life, a joyful life, a painless life, a forgiven and redeemed life, a life of fellowship, worship, and praise. It will be a life that is eternal in every sense of the word.

So, when this world knocks us about during our time here, let us rejoice and, with hope, look forward to the world yet to come. Our stay on this earth is brief compared to an eternity of joy.

But, to those who have never repented of their sin and put their trust in Jesus Christ, enjoy the blessings God is giving you NOW. For this is all there is, at least, all that will be enjoyable for you.

You see, your existence will not end at the moment of your death. However, your enjoyment of life will. Judgment awaits and the Great Judge of the Universe knows you and of your rebellion against Him. Yes, by refusing to bow to the Lord Jesus, the only Savior and Redeemer, you have "thumbed your nose" at God. Your sin remains without an atonement and redemption. You stand guilty of an offense against an eternal, infinite God. Your punishment will match the crime.

At that time, you will experience the full wrath of God and will be tossed into eternal torment. Your punishment will never end. Your pain will never cease. You will never find joy, ever! All that awaits you upon your death is eternal misery.

Therefore, enjoy the blessings of God now, while you have them. They will end. For you, this is as good as it gets.

May the Spirit of God bring to you conviction of your sins and cause you to repent of them and put your faith in Christ.

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