Psalm 71:5-9 (NIV) — “For you have been my hope, Sovereign LORD, my confidence since my youth. From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother’s womb. I will ever praise you. I have become a sign to many; you are my strong refuge. My mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendor all day long. Do not cast me away when I am old; do not forsake me when my strength is gone.”
Psalm 71 has 24 verses but verse 9 has captured my attention today. Perhaps because throughout the week as I have been reading the writings and comments from others, such as Steve Jobs who spoke at the Sanford University Commencement, saying, “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death leaving only what is important.”
I had been reading the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy, the fourth chapter, and what I gleaned from that passage is what I consider an “Important Spiritual Principle.”
Just to narrow it down, Deuteronomy 4:31 says: “For the Lord your God is a merciful God; He will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your ancestors, which He confirmed to them by oath.”
Please, if you get the chance to search out that passage, read the whole chapter so you gain the whole spiritual principle, not to be taken out of context.
Have you heard of Hadden Robinson? He wrote the following quote in an article titled “Life and Death Advice”:
“A man opens a newspaper and discovers it is dated six months in advance of the time he lives. Reading through the newspaper, he discovers stories about events that have not yet taken place. He turns to the sports page and sees scores of games not yet played. He turns to the financial page and discovers the rise or fall of different stocks and bonds. He realizes this information can make him a wealthy man. A few large bets on an underdog team can make him wealthy. Investments in stock that are now low but will go high can fatten his portfolio. He is delighted! He turns the page and comes to the obituary column and sees his picture and story. Everything changes. The knowledge of his death changes his view about his wealth.”
In some of my web surfing I came across a site named “Death Clock.” It’s based on entering your basic info so the calculation for my date of death was projected to be Friday, April 29 of 2033.
That would leave me passing at the age of 73, giving me 13 years of life left.
Even if that knowledge were possible there is absolutely no indication of the quality of life or whether those 13 years were lived to honor God and help my neighbor which is my current goal.
I trust in the Word of God, which has an abundance of verses and passages to guide us. For example: Proverbs 27:1 — “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.”
Or even …
Psalm 90:12-14 — “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Relent, O’ Lord! How long will it be? Have compassion on your servants. Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.”
Or even still …
1 Peter 1:6 & 7 — “In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith — of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire — may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”