My wife is a genius when it comes to the study and understanding of health issues. From vitamins to nutrition to toxins to just about everything, she is on it. A couple of weeks ago we were discussing the matter. We were discussing a certain toxin that many people unknowingly consume (I can‘t remember what it is right now, hope I am not eating it!), when she said, “That is something that increases your chance of death.” My response was, “No it won‘t. I am guaranteed to die someday. My chances are 100%.”
Frankly, I am surprised I am not dead already with smart answers like that.
But the sad truth is: we are all going to die. Hebrews 9:27 says: “…it is appointed for man to die once…” I have skipped eye doctor appointments, rescheduled lunch appointments, and missed vet appointments for my dog. But this appointment, I will not be able to avoid. The death rate is still one per customer. I am not making light of it - this is reality.
And the reality really sinks in when it is someone we know and love. Right now I have 3 very dear friends who have loved ones with failing health. And unless the Lord intervenes with a miracle, death looks to be coming soon.
“Thanks for the grim news, Pastor Jeff. We are all gonna die.” It’s not news. It is a reality we must remind ourselves. That’s why Solomon says in Ecclesiastes 7:2 “It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for this is the end of all mankind, and the living will lay it to heart.”
Strange verse at first glace, right? I would rather go to a party than a funeral. But Solomon says it is better to go to a funeral than a party! Why? Because we are all heading towards our own death, and a funeral has a way of making the funeral attendees stop and think about their lives.
What am I living for? How am I spending my life? Why am I here? What happens when I die? These are all questions we should be “laying to the heart” in the face of death.
Death is not only coming, but it is coming quick for all of us. The Bible tells us our lives are like perishing beasts (Psalm 49:12), a passing wind (Psalm 78:39), dust (Psalm 103:14), a fading leaf (Isaiah 64:6), and a vapor (James 4:14).
Because of the brevity of life, in Psalm 90:12, Moses prays, “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.”
How can we “number our days“? Let’s do a little exercise together.
Two verses prior, Moses says, “ The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty...” So taking Moses’ average, we get 75 years.
So if you are 15 years old that means you have 21,900 days until you turn 75. Use the handy chart below to calculate the number of your days!
Age Days of Life Left
OVER 75 - you are on borrowed time
On second thought, I don’t think that is what Moses meant by numbering our days. He is not asking that God helps us calculate when we may die. He is asking God to help us always keep the brevity of life in mind as we meditate on how we are living our lives.
We keep a checkbook to track how we spend our money. Here’s an assignment for you: keep a checkbook of how you spend your time. Take a calendar or day planner, and instead of using it just for appointments, write down what you actually did do. This lets you objectively look at how well you are spending your time… and if you are presenting a heart of wisdom before the Lord. You may be surprised at how much you do some things and how little you actually do others. I have done this assignment before, and it is surprising! I think it is about time to do it again.
p.s. - Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:15-16)