The Way of All the Earth

“When David’s time to die drew near, he commanded Solomon his son, saying, ‘I am about to go the way of all the earth. Be strong, and show yourself a man, and keep the charge of the Lord your God, walking in his ways and keeping his statutes, his commandments, his rules, and his testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn, that the Lord may establish his word that he spoke concerning me, saying, “If your sons pay close attention to their way, to walk before me in faithfulness with all their heart and with all their soul, you shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.”’” 1 Kings 2:1-4

“Man is like a breath;
    his days are like a passing shadow.” Psalm 144:4

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” Matthew 24:35

“You do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” James 4:14

David’s many seasons of shepherding under the stars, growing in his knowledge and trust of God, victories and failures as Israel’s king, had instilled in him clear perspective. He knew not only in years but in spiritual wisdom that his life was but a vapor, and would soon end on earth. He had lived for God’s glory and knew that the treasure to leave behind and pass along was Him and His word. The ‘throne’ he left was that of the promised Messiah, the temple for which he prepared a place of worship and looking forward to Him.

We will all go the way of all the earth, as will our earthly treasure, yet the Lord has graciously appointed us a season here to know Him, exalt Him, and make a difference for His invisible kingdom. Are we tuned in to that purpose, or have we allowed the trappings and urgencies of life to cloud our vision? When we ask for His wisdom and zeal, He will grant it for the calling at hand and for responsible stewardship of all He’s entrusted to us, to each according to His grace and plan. We must beware lest we hold too tightly or get too ingrained. (1 Kings 3:7-9; Romans 12:1-3)

With our transience in mind, how will we live? Like David, with a whole heart after God? Will we embolden, encourage, and point to the Lord and His unshakable promises? Would we lift high the cross and the Word, that others might pay attention and walk faithfully? Would we loosen our hold on things and hold fast our confession of truth? Would we seek not to be served but to serve, and spend ourselves for others? Would we make the most of life in order that our words, work, and ministry are life-giving to others? (Mark 10:45; Acts 13:22; Hebrews 10:23)

Lord, grant me an eternal perspective. Teach me to number my days on Your divine timetable, and grant me a heart and mind to life wisely and fully for You with every breath. (Psalm 90:12)

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