He will swallow up the covering which is over all peoples,
Even the veil which is stretched over all nations.
He will swallow up death for all time.
(Isaiah 25:7-8, NASB)
My wife and I have enjoyed browsing through antique shops. I got hooked on them years ago when I collected old books. So when she and I got the chance to spend a weekend away together, we decided to tour the small towns nearby and visit their shops.
The weekend was wrapping up, and we were in Gower, Missouri. In a small store there I came across a funeral card for a man who had died in 1887. Reading the card, I couldn’t help thinking about that man. He brought to mind the countless individuals around the world who have come and gone, seemingly unknown and unremembered. So many people. So many generations. We are like flowers. We bloom and proudly spread our petals toward the sun, only to die as quickly as we came, leaving little sign of our coming or our going. What difference does our living make? What does it matter that I, or any of us, were ever here?
We are surrounded by a stream of death that flows unceasingly through our world, engulfing all life, threatening to wash away all concept of meaning and significance. For me, antique shops quietly testify to that. They are graveyards for our treasures. When we’re gone, the things we counted precious are left behind to sell for pennies or to gather dust. They sit there on the shelf, mocking the foolishness and futility of our lives – lives hungrily invested in what is doomed to quickly pass.
As I stood there and saw myself as part of that stream of death, I was reminded that there is more.
I am not just a physical body that is dying even now. The life in me is the life of my Creator. He has shared it with me, and His life is unending. He is not a God of death and darkness, but of life and light. His life will not die with this body, and this world is not His final arena of existence or meaning.
What is more, I can know Him. I can know Him personally and live in a relationship with Him. I can please Him and talk to Him. I can learn of Him and grow in Him. I can fulfill the purpose for which I, and all this, was created.
That’s what I want above anything else. I want to become the person He designed me to be.
When redemption is complete and
God’s final judgments are pronounced,
death itself will be destroyed forever.
It will disappear from all creation, and
life will reign and abound everywhere—
deep and profound,
as rich and magnificent as God intended.
Hymn: Ash Wednesday Hymn