THE BALANCE SHEET OF LIFE
Date: June 19
Category: God's Plans
"Behold, You have made my days as [short as] handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing in Your sight. Truly every man at his best is merely a breath! Selah [pause, and think calmly of that]! Surely every man walks to and fro – like a shadow in a pantomime; surely for futility and emptiness he is in turmoil; each one heaps up riches, not knowing who will gather them. And now, Lord, what do I wait for and expect? My hope and expectation are in You."
In personal finances we have a balance sheet that describes the financial condition we are in at the present time. But this passage is the balance sheet of life. It's important for all of us to view our lives the way these verses describe. First of all, David says here in this Psalm, "Behold, You have made my days as [short as] handbreadths…" All of us would like to have more hours in the day. We feel we can't achieve everything we want to achieve with the hours we are given. The faster time passes, the more we realize how short our lives really are.
Then David continues to say further on in the verse, "My lifetime is as nothing in Your sight." Notice that he doesn't say that our lives are nothing to God. It says that our lives are AS nothing to God. When you think about God, remember that He is eternal, meaning He lives forever. He has no end. Actually, the Bible says that He is the beginning and the end (Revelation 22:13). But we as human beings all have a beginning and an end. The average lifespan of a person is about 80 years. Some people live longer than that and others die younger than that. But regardless of how long we life, to God that is as nothing. Those numbers of years are as nothing compared to God who is eternal.
That's why we should remember God in our youth, the Bible says in Ecclesiastes 12:1. "Remember [earnestly] also your Creator [that you are not your own, but His property now] in the days of your youth, before the evil days come or the years draw near when you will say [of physical pleasures], I have no enjoyment in them."
So this verse says that if you don't remember God in your youth, you won't be able to enjoy old age. There will come a time when you will see evil days and years being drawn closer. You will realize your weakness in old age and you will not find enjoyment in life if you don't remember God when you're young.
But if you do remember God in the days of your youth, look at what happens. In Psalm 92:14 we read, "[Growing in grace] they shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be full of sap [of spiritual vitality] and [rich in the] verdure [of trust, love, and contentment]." So even in old age, you will still be mighty in spirit and find joy and contentment in life if you choose to remember the Lord in your earlier years.
Then in Psalm 39:6a it says, "Surely every man walks to and fro – like a shadow in the pantomime; surely for futility and emptiness he is in turmoil…" In other words, he who does not remember the Lord will work hard in life but only for futility and emptiness, meaning he'll work and work but in all of that he won't gain any happiness. The rest of verse 6 says, "Each one heaps up riches, not knowing who will gather them." So each of them work hard to gather more and more but there won't be any joy in that.
But when you look at all the different heaps of increase from God's perspective, those things are like nothing. Man at his best strength is like a breath to God. We as human beings are limited in our strength and our abilities. But God is limitless. That's why verse 7 is so important. "And now, Lord, what do I wait for and expect? My hope and expectation are in You." David realized that his hope and expectations are in God alone.
This life here on earth is only temporary. That's why we should never think that we're great and mighty just because we've lived a long life. Even if you live 60 years, 80 years, or even 120 years, you are still just passing through. That's not a long time in God's sight. Life is quick and what we make of it makes all the difference.
That's why we read in verse 4, "Lord, make me to know my end and [to appreciate] the measure of my days – what it is; let me know and realize how frail I am [how transient is my stay here]." So we should appreciate the days we do have and work hard to do what is pleasing to God. Our lives on the earth are not forever, but our lives in heaven with God will be for eternity. So while we are here on the earth, we have to appreciate it and do what we can to please God and bless the Kingdom of God.
So your hope and your expectation should be in God and God alone. It should not be in anything in this life. It should not be in yourself or in other people. People will fail you. You will fail yourself. Your days on the earth are short. But your life in Heaven is for all eternity. So today, let's remember God and do all that we can to please Him!