Tuesday, August 8, 2023

The Clutches of Time (Psalm 102:1-17)

"For my days are consumed like smoke …" (Ps. 102:3).

One of humanity’s greatest dilemmas is its relationship to time. Whether we live or die, time continues its unrelenting cadence. Sometimes it seems as if we have been discarded into life’s vast ocean, to drift without a beginning or an end. Often it seems as if all we have is the here and now.

Hoping for something more, we ask, “Is this all there is?” Secularism quickly answers in the affirmative—all we can be certain of is the present. Secularism’s short-sighted philosophy produces grave moral consequences. If all we have is the here and now, then why stop and consider the consequences of our actions, especially in relation to eternity?

The Bible tells us we are responsible for our actions; yet, like secularism, it does not deny the transience of man: “… all the glory of man is as the flower of the grass. The grass withers and its flower falls away” (1 Peter 1:24); “… he is like the beasts that perish” (Ps. 49:12); “… they were but flesh, a breath that passes away and does not come again” (Ps. 78:39)—a somber portrait of humanity’s mortality. But that isn’t all there is to the picture. Man is physically mortal, but by God’s sustaining power, each of us has an immortal soul—a soul that will bear eternal consequences for our present actions. And when He comes, all will be again joined body and soul.

Our lives seem empty and fleeting as we consider them in this temporal existence, but overshadowing our transience is the eternal presence of God. Those who deny the existence of God put their hope in the present. But even as they hope in that which they can see, they are consumed by time’s ever-present marches. There is no peace in an uncertain future and no security in the present because it so quickly fades into the past. As long as we seek meaning in things that are temporary, we will despair, but if we fix our eyes on God, we will find security and hope. We will realize that there is more to life than the present, that we live forever, and that our lives here will determine how we will spend eternity. “We do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Cor. 4:18).

Why is it impossible to find security in the present? If human beings can only find security in that which is eternal and unchanging, in God, what does this say about the unbelieving multitudes? Do you feel insecure in some way? If so, do you look for security outside of God? Commit now to abandon pursuit of the temporal.