If you read my previous post which contained a short recap of my time at Camp Regen, hosted by Dr. John MacArthur and Grace Community Church, you would know that today starts the blog post series diving into my notes from my top-take-away sermons! (Through writing these posts, I have edited them and added onto them for the sake of it being in “post form”.)
At the end, comment something you learned from my notes, I’d simply love to know! 🙂
Posing questions for today’s notes: Is life meaningless? What comes from “numbering my days”?
In reading Ecclesiastes, the thesis of this book of the bible is found in 1:2, which reads CSB, “-everything is futile.” (vain, meaningless.) However, the author it is not writing this to be literal… because if it was, if everything was meaningless, then what is the point of doing anything? What was the point of Jesus coming down to earth as a man and die to save us, if everything on earth is vain and without meaning? No… it is not literal. The author is telling us to think of your death as you would your breath which is fleeting.
Ecclesiastes 1:1-11 CSB ““Absolute futility,” says the Teacher. “Absolute futility. Everything is futile.” What does a person gain for all his efforts that he labors at under the sun? A generation goes and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever. The sun rises and the sun sets; panting, it hurries back to the place where it rises. Gusting to the south, turning to the north, turning, turning, goes the wind, and the wind returns in its cycles. All the streams flow to the sea, yet the sea is never full; to the place where the streams flow, there they flow again. All things are wearisome, more than anyone can say. The eye is not satisfied by seeing or the ear filled with hearing. What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; there is nothing new under the sun. Can one say about anything, “Look, this is new”? It has already existed in the ages before us. There is no remembrance of those who came before; and of those who will come after there will also be no remembrance by those who follow them.”
A generation goes and comes, the sun rises and it sets and rises again, the wind goes and returns in cycles, everything is wearisome, no one is satisfied, there will be no remembrance for those that came before and those who come after; everyone lives and everyone dies, and the earth will continue without you just as it did before you.
And there are three points to be made here:
1: Death is certain.
Psalm 90:3-6 CSB “You return mankind to the dust, saying, “Return, descendants of Adam.” For in your sight a thousand years are like yesterday that passes by, like a few hours of the night. You end their lives; they sleep. They are like grass that grows in the morning — in the morning it sprouts and grows; by evening it withers and dries up.”
Psalm 90:9-10 “For all our days ebb away under your wrath; we end our years like a sigh. Our lives last seventy years or, if we are strong, eighty years. Even the best of them are struggle and sorrow; indeed, they pass quickly and we fly away.”
You cannot break the cycle of death, it pushes onward. Death and time slowly steal everything from us on this earth. So you can ignore it, even if you are young and healthy and carefree, or you can own the certainty of your death and live out Moses’s prayer in Psalm 90:12-17 CBS “Teach us to number our days carefully so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts. Lord — how long? Turn and have compassion on your servants. Satisfy us in the morning with your faithful love so that we may shout with joy and be glad all our days. Make us rejoice for as many days as you have humbled us, for as many years as we have seen adversity. Let your work be seen by your servants, and your splendor by their children. Let the favor of the Lord our God be on us; establish for us the work of our hands — establish the work of our hands!”
2: Our God is eternal.
Psalm 90:1-2 CSB “Lord, you have been our refuge in every generation. Before the mountains were born, before you gave birth to the earth and the world, from eternity to eternity, you are God.”
GOD IS SO MUCH BIGGER THAN TIME! While our time on earth is slipping away as sand in an hourglass once tipped upside down, “For in your sight a thousand years are like yesterday that passes by, like a few hours of the night.” Psalm 90:4 God has always been and always will be here, He is eternal- everlasting.
3: This is good news!
There are four good things we get out of living out God’s word by numbering our days. Starting with wisdom (Psalm 90:12, Proverbs 2:6, Proverbs 16:16, Ephesians 5:15-16, Proverbs 1:7, etc.), which is so much more than just book smarts- it is skillful life knowledge. We gain satisfaction if we number our days and ask the Lord to show compassion to us, that He may satisfy our souls in the morning to glorify Him in all our days to come! Significance. The Lord created work for us here on this earth starting with Adam in the Garden of Eden in Genesis 2:15. (Ecclesiastes 3:9-13) and through living out everyday as if it were our last, numbering our days, Psalm 90:17 CSB “Let the favor of the Lord our God be on us: establish for us the work of our hands – establish the work of our hands!” It is good that we work on this earth and it makes us significant! (Ephesians 4:28, 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12), and of course; hope. Psalm 90:1 CSB “Lord, you have been our refuge in every generation.” and He will continue to be our refuge here on this earth, and especially afterwards in heaven, and that alone restores hope in our crazy lives!
Now let me ask you a question: are you numbering your days?