Summary: This is probably the oldest Psalm in the Bible, and was composed by Moses during the 40 years wandering of the children of Israel in the wilderness. There is so much spiritual profit in meditating this Psalm but, at the moment, fix your attention on v.9.
Intro: This is probably the oldest Psalm in the Bible, and was composed by Moses during the 40 years wandering of the children of Israel in the wilderness. There is so much spiritual profit in meditating this Psalm but, at the moment, fix your attention on v.9. We see that life is likened to a tale that is told, not read. Those were the days when reading material was not as common or as plentiful as in our times. That is why there were then a good number of men who were professional storytellers. These were always welcomed in military camps, in towns, villages and wherever there are people who would listen. Verses 9-10 are simple scripture verses yet suggestive. Life on earth is like a story because:
1. There are long stories and short ones, so there are long lives and there are very short ones. Of course we cannot always measure life by years, as we can measure a story by pages or inches. It is what we have accomplished for the Lord in our life that really counts. It is what we do for Christ in our days and years that will decide the value of the life we lived (cf. Phil. 1:21). Near the end of his earthly life, notice the dying words of Paul (II Tim. 4:6-8). If you were to die tomorrow, what testimony would you have?
2. There are boring stories and interesting ones, so there are lives that are boring and unattractive; whereas there are lives that are exciting and full of change. Of course peoples’ tastes differ. What seems boring and uninteresting to some is actually considered quite attractive by others. If the Lord were to read our lives now, will He find them very interesting or boring in His sight? (Job. 14:1 cf. Gen. 47:9)
3. There are bad stories and there are good ones, so there are lives that are very bad examples and bring evil influences. But there are also lives that are really of good testimony and a blessing to all. We have only one life to live on earth and we should desire to be as useful and profitable to God and man as much as possible (Acts 23:1 cf. 24:16).
4. There are stories that have a glorious mission, whereas there are others that are constantly producing nothing but evil and the works of the flesh. We can think of books that have produced great and positive results, such as Dr. Jose Rizal’s "Noli Me Tangere" which opened the eyes of the world to the terrible abuses of Spain in the Philippines. Is your life an open book to the people around you? Does your life become an instrument in helping and influencing your neighbor to change for the better? (I Pet. 2:12; 3:16)
5. How then can my life be as a good and beneficial tale? For life to be good and useful, there are 3 conditions.
a. MUST HAVE THE RIGHT AUTHOR. It takes a genius to produce a truly great tale, one that will live on and on for generations. Only the Lord Jesus Christ can produce a life that is like a good, useful, and helpful tale (II Cor. 5:17). We must be His workmanship or masterpiece (Eph. 2:10). We cannot do this in ourselves, so we must submit to the Lord’s gracious and marvelous power only.
b. MUST HAVE THE RIGHT HERO. The quality and value of a book will be ultimately judged; and indeed so greatly dependent upon the good character of its hero. If the Lord Jesus Christ is the very hero and center of our lives, then all will be well in our life story(I Cor. 2:2; Phil. 3:8).
c. MUST HAVE THE RIGHT PURPOSE. A book without a good object or purpose is likely to be poor and unprofitable book! To be valuable, a book must have the right reason so the time spent reading it will be meaningful. What is the object of your life? Are you doing everything for the glory of God? Remember your object as a Christian believer is, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (I Cor. 10:32). What a great object and privilege is this indeed!
Conclusion: What kind of a tale is your life telling? How do people read it? A believer is going to die like anyone else but with a difference – assurance of salvation (Psa. 23:6)!!!