Following up on Psalm 23, Part l, I want to share with you an incident that happened to me with the usage of “the Lord willing”.
First. Let me give you the verses this pertains to. James 4:14,15,16. “Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. 15) Instead, you ought to say, if the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that. 16) But as it is, you boast in your arrogance, all such boasting is evil. 17) Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.”
Not long ago a resident on campus was talking with me and as the conversation was brought to a close, I said, “Tomorrow will be fine, the Lord willing.” She gave me a quick look and said, “Oh! Don’t say that, it is too final”. Yeah. I knew that. And I meant it. But her Christianity showed up with flashing lights as to how little she knew/lived by/determined for her own life.
Back to Psalm 23. We are as a vapor. We are here today, gone tomorrow. Only God has the time/date on His calendar. Buttttt… we do know there is AN APPOINTED TIME FOR OUR DEATH.
Then we look at death straight in the eye. No one knows for sure what or how the mechanics work, except we know we have no control over it. It will make its visit on us.
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will FEAR no evil.” Jesus went to the Cross so we would not have to experience death as He was for us. We do not need to “fear” death as a Christian. It is the door by which we enter eternity. We will experience only the SHADOW of death. Death is only a SHADOW now because our Lord Jesus became DEATH in our place. He gives us hope and has taken the gloom out of the grave.
“…I will FEAR no evil, for Thou art with me.” David is talking about our Great Shepherd.
In 1 Cor. 3:21-23, Paul speaks in an interesting way to that church.
“Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; 22) Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; 23) And ye are Christ’s and Christ is God’s.”
The Corinthians had been squabbling about which leader they liked. Paul responds to them with the above. He says ALL ARE YOURS. Not just Paul or Apollos, etc., but life, death, things present and etc. In other words, death belongs to us. It is ours. It is a servant that helps us.
Psalm 116:15 reads: “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.”
Phil. 1:21 reads: “For me to live is Christ, and to DIE is gain.”
How in the world is dying a gain for you and me? Well. Dr. Rogers gives us this explanation and I like it very much.
“PHYSICALLY it is gain. Your body will be made like the Lord Jesus.
INTELLECTUALLY it is gain. For you will know as you are known.
EMOTIONALLY it is gain. Because you’ll be able to praise Him with your whole heart.
SOCIALLY it is gain. Because you’ll be with the saints of all of the ages.
SPIRITUALLY it is gain. Because temptation and sin will be behind you, and you’ll be one with the Lord, face to face.”
Only DEATH brings us into this kind of relationship and DEATH ALONE.
Death is our transportation for making arrival at a place like the above.
It is at this point in Psalm 23, verse 4, that the Psalm takes a turn. “FOR THOU ART WITH ME.”
David finds himself in the valley and he begins to talk directly to Him. We will pick it up at this point next time.
Expecting to arrive safely. Marge