Summary: The clock is ticking! Limited time! Limited days! What would you do if you knew that your time was about to be up?
Pt. 4 - After Me?
Every father wants their child’s first word to be dad. Mom’s want it to be mom. And we never forget the first time we hear them say it. There is another word that children seem to learn at almost the same speed of “dada” or “mama” and that word is “MINE”! Every toy wanted by a sibling or playmate produces the often escalating shout of this declaration of territory and ownership. Even surrounded by numerous other toy options the word still is shouted at glass breaking frequencies. It doesn’t take us long to reveal a selfish tendency. We learn it young and the me, myself and I thought process is reinforced by our society until we become self absorbed, self centered, and self consumed. Mantras of Do you leads to a selfie society. We begin to believe that we should only live for ourselves and our own happiness is all that matters. We may shake our head as if we can’t agree with someone like Albert Camus when he writes “To be happy we must not be too concerned with others” but then we conduct our lives as if our lives are all that matters.
But what if you only had 30 days to live? What if the clock is ticking down and your number is up? I have already challenged you that the last day will come. We are not assured of more days. So, that should cause us to consider those that come after us. And yet I would venture to say that most of us don’t. The proverbial sticker on the back of the RV that says “I’m spending my kids inheritance!” Really does give us a glimpse into our lack of looking over our shoulder.
Scripture provides a contrast of ways of living that I want us to look at and allow to challenge us!
The way we are supposed to live is revealed in Psalm 78:1-7.
Psalm 78:1-7 (Message)
Listen, dear friends, to God’s truth, bend your ears to what I tell you. I’m chewing on the morsel of a proverb; I’ll let you in on the sweet old truths, Stories we heard from our fathers, counsel we learned at our mother’s knee. We’re not keeping this to ourselves, we’re passing it along to the next generation— God’s fame and fortune, the marvelous things he has done. He planted a witness in Jacob, set his Word firmly in Israel, Then commanded our parents to teach it to their children So the next generation would know, and all the generations to come— Know the truth and tell the stories so their children can trust in God, Never forget the works of God but keep his commands to the letter. Heaven forbid they should be like their parents, bullheaded and bad, A fickle and faithless bunch who never stayed true to God.
So the standard or mode of operation that one King (David) gives us is to look over our shoulder and take care of the generations coming after us. And by the way if you are sitting here and you have no physical or natural offspring may I remind you that in the New Testament Paul chimes in regarding the spiritual family and says that the older generation should train the coming generation. In other words, keep an eye on those who are after you. That is the standard we should aspire to. However, here is the contrast. In the Old Testament there is another king, who I am afraid that due to the selfishness of our society, we tend to be more like and his attitude has even become common in the family of God. See the contrast of how he lives and the result.
Isaiah 38:1-6; 39:5-8
At that time, Hezekiah got sick. He was about to die. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz visited him and said, “ God says, ‘Prepare your affairs and your family. This is it: You’re going to die. You’re not going to get well.’” Hezekiah turned away from Isaiah and, facing the wall, prayed to God: “ God , please, I beg you: Remember how I’ve lived my life. I’ve lived faithfully in your presence, lived out of a heart that was totally yours. You’ve seen how I’ve lived, the good that I have done.” And Hezekiah wept as he prayed—painful tears. Then God told Isaiah, “Go and speak with Hezekiah. Give him this Message from me, God, the God of your ancestor David: ‘I’ve heard your prayer. I have seen your tears. Here’s what I’ll do: I’ll add fifteen years to your life. And I’ll save both you and this city from the king of Assyria. I have my hand on this city.
Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Now listen to this Message from God -of-the-Angel-Armies: I have to warn you, the time is coming when everything in this palace, along with everything your ancestors accumulated before you, will be hauled off to Babylon. God says that there will be nothing left. Nothing. And not only your things but your sons. Some of your sons will be taken into exile, ending up as eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.” Hezekiah replied to Isaiah, “Good. If God says so, it’s good.” Within himself he was thinking, “But surely nothing bad will happen in my lifetime. I’ll enjoy peace and stability as long as I live.”