I'm afraid of the dark
For reading & meditation: Proverbs 12:1-8
"Wicked men are overthrown and are no more, but the house of the righteous stands firm." (v.7)
We continue thinking about the fact that as soon as the psalmist considered the end of the ungodly, everything dropped into focus. Their true position became so clear to him that his language in the rest of the psalm indicates that he not only ceased to be envious of the ungodly but began to be sorry for them. Indeed, the same thing will happen to us too - the more we focus on the ultimate end of the unconverted, the more compassion we will feel for them. How grim and cheerless is the non-Christian view of life, especially as it relates to the end. Dr Marrett, a rationalist and head of one of the colleges in Oxford, wrote, as he neared the end of his life: "I have nothing to look forward to but chill autumn and still chillier winter and yet I must somehow try not to lose heart." H.G. Wells, who ridiculed and scoffed at Christianity
with its doctrine of sin and salvation
, said at the end of his life that he was utterly baffled and bewildered. The title of his last book summed up his view of things: A Mind at the End of its Tether. When he was dying, a noted atheist asked one of his relatives for a lighted candle to be placed in his hand. "Why a lighted candle?" asked the concerned relative. "Because I am afraid to go out into the dark," was the reply. How foolish to look enviously at the lifestyle of the ungodly, focusing only on their present successes and the marvellous time they seem to be having, without considering their end. We should never forget that no matter how glittering their lifestyle, the death of the ungodly is a terrible thing.
O Father, let this sobering thought not only free me from envy but stimulate within me a deep concern for those who do not know You. May I be used in some way to halt the progress of someone on the road to a lost eternity. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
For further study:
1. What truth did Paul reflect to Timothy?
2. How does the same truth affect the way we live our lives?