We Spent Our Years As a Tale That Is Told
Glen Burnie, Maryland
Have you ever stopped in your rushed life to think of the vast vault of time that lies awaiting judgment, or of the lives that have filled that immensity? It is not easy for man in his hour-by-hour existence to comprehend the enormity of history, or to acknowledge the souls that drew breath generations before we were born. There have been men whose eyes beheld the Tower of Babel, the Pyramids rising from the sand, yea, even gazed upon the face of our Lord Jesus. Men have lived, loved, hated, felt pleasure and pain. They all met death and are now awaiting the judgment toward which we are all hurtling. Time, such a plodding thing for the present, is such a swift irretrievable vapour when it is past.
"The days of our years are three-score and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away" (Psa. 90:10). Our lives are lived, and what we have done, seen, or felt all the books of the world could not hold. And yet millions upon millions have felt the same cool of each new morning, and thought that it was theirs alone. One lifetime is but a heart-beat, a blink, a glance. "Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in generation after generation. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God ... for a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday, when it is past, and as a watch in the night ... thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning they are like grass that groweth up . . ." (1,2,5,6).
Yet who patterns his life? Who actually redeems the time? Too many lights are turned on for scant seconds and eternally put out. We are born, grow in the supreme ignorance of youth, labor, grow old, and too late gaze back upon the years and mourn "for all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spent our years as a tale that is told" (v. 9).
David, whose body is one with the earth, died yearning for the day when man would see Jesus. "Return, O Lord, how long? And let it repent thee concerning thy servants. Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us and the years wherein we have seen evil. Let thy work appear unto thy servants,, and thy glory unto their children" (13-16). He died, never seeing that day. The time finally came when all was fulfilled. Men saw the Word in the flesh. The time of His appearance came and went. God had promised and in the fullness of time, when the' time had come, God 'fulfilled his promise.
God now speaks to us, saying again when the fullness of time is come that the "heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise ... the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with a fervent heat, and the earth also and all the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the corning of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat" (2 Pet. 3:7-12).
Truth Magazine, XVIII:1, p. 10-11