Scripture Reading: 2 Chronicles 29:1-31:1 / 2 Corinthians 1:12-22 / Psalm 103:13-22
Benjamin Franklin wrote, "'In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." There are a lot of similarities between taxes and death. Man attempts to cheat both of them and everyone thinks both demand too much. Death and taxes are unpredictable, unavoidable and unforgiving. Neither are welcomed or desired…we will avoid them at all cost.
As long as we live, there will be taxes to pay and death will be lurking. David was familiar with taxes but writes about the surety of death…”For He (The Lord) knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field, the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.” (Psalm 103:14-16)
God created man from the dust of the ground and breathed life into Adam’s nostrils. God is the giver of life yet man rebelled against the life giver and sided with the life taker. Man exchanged God’s eternal life for the promised “better” life of sin and Satan. Adam and Eve quickly discovered their loss of innocence and purity. Their infinite became finite, joy was turned into sorrow and life was turned upside down.
The very first death came via murder and we have dealt with the loss of life and the grief of death ever since. David describes man’s life as a flower…something that brings beauty and fragrance to the world. People powerfully impact our world like the wonderful scent of a rose or the brightness of a sunflower or the innocence of a daisy. Some people remind us of a “wild” flower while others seem to be isolated in the seclusion of a simple garden.
A flower only impacts their surroundings when they are vibrant and alive. They eventually wither and die; their presence fades with time and the blowing of the wind. Those who enjoyed their beauty are drawn to the faded patch where they once bloomed. Over time, it fades even greater and it becomes overrun by the continuance of nature.
Death is difficult to deal with yet God understands the complexities of life and death. God persuaded man ever since their fall in the garden and provided a way for man to have a right relationship with Him again. The creator of the universe planted His most significant Son in this world. This “Lilly of the Valley” was pierced, plucked and nailed to a death stake. Jesus gave up His life to experience the same death that all mankind faces, yet rose again with a life giving and eternal power!
For those who Accept His sacrificial love, Believe in his redemptive work, Confess their sin, Devote their lives to His Kingdom and Embrace His Lordship will find the Forgiveness of a Gracious God! We rejoice in the beauty of life yet it will surely fade but the beauty and fragrance of eternal life will never die…it will be everlasting!
Pastor James Clark has pastored Calvary Assembly since 1985. He is blessed with his wife Yvonne, six children, two son-in-laws, a beautiful granddaughter and hopefully many more grandchildren to follow!