Death, Life, and the Everlasting Mercy of the Lord

October 20th, 2020 – Tuesday Afternoon

“As for man, his days are like grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes. For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children’s children, to such as keep His covenant, and to those who remember His commandments to do them.” ~Psalm 103:15-18

It is easy to live with the reality of death in the wrong ways. Let me explain: When faced with the reality of death or the shortness of life, it is normal for us as humans to go in several directions. We can live a paralyzed life that is constantly overwhelmed with the grief, loss, and finality of physical death; we can live a wild life with a “who cares” attitude; we can live a life that ignores death and refuses to acknowledge it in our own lives or in the lives of others; we can live in such a way that everyone around us thinks of death whenever they see us; we can live in such a way that everyone knows we are trying to avoid death at all costs; we can live etc., etc., etc. The problem is that any way to live with the reality of death other than the right way is the wrong way. All other ways distort the reality of death somehow and leave us unprepared and unequipped to handle life and death.

So what is the right way to approach the reality of death? Let’s go back to our passage… We are human. As such, we are marred by sin and its consequences; we WILL die at some point (unless the Lord returns or takes us before death) as a result of our sin and the curse of sin. Our days really are like grass that is here today and gone tomorrow. One hundred years from now (if the Lord tarries), most or all people will probably not remember us and our earthly lives will be gone. This reality, taken by itself, is quite morbid and discouraging. Yet, the passage doesn’t stop there; no, it goes on to talk about the everlasting mercy of the Lord.

Think about this for a minute: Before you and I were conceived, God was already showing mercy to us. This mercy was not just in giving us life and preserving our mothers and ancestors; it was even more specific to us in the cross of Christ. Even before we committed our first sin, God had already provided the atonement necessary for us to be reconciled to Him and to overcome death. Even before we knew any of it, His mercy was already at work. Even now, as I write this and as you read it, God is showing us His mercy in allowing us to meditate on His mercy. From everlasting to everlasting – that means forever – God shows His mercy to those who fear/reverence/honor/trust/respect Him. There is no end to that mercy; in fact, even the grandchildren of those who fear the Lord reap the benefits of God’s mercy and righteousness.

What does it matter right now? Let us live with the sober reality of death, while holding to the Giver of Life – both physical life and everlasting life – and walking in such a way that honors Him above all else. Let His mercy and His righteousness affect our thoughts, our conversations, and our actions TODAY. We aren’t promised tomorrow, but we are promised His mercy – in life and in death – as we fear Him.