Study from God’s Word… Isaiah 14: 28 – 32; Is 13: 1 – 22; Is 14: 1 – 23; Is 21: 1 - 10… Passage for Reflection: Isaiah 14: 10 – 11 … NIV 10 They will all respond, they will say to you, "You also have become weak, as we are; you have become like us." 11 All your pomp has been brought down to the grave, along with the noise of your harps; maggots are spread out beneath you and worms cover you.
My Journal for Today: Reading the passages which Dr. Smith, my devotional editor/author/shepherd has led me to read today, I’m led to contemplate and mediate on the meaning and finality of death, which is a subject from which we humans like to escape or deny completely. As Dr. Smith points out, we even try to beautify the dead at funerals and where they are buried in memorial gardens, by giving the dead living tributes and honoring their lives with tombstones and flowers which hide the reality of what’s going on under the ground where they are buried.
But today’s highlight devotional passage gets right to the nitty-gritty truth. Below the ground, where the dead are buried, the purification process goes forth; and it’s not a pretty, glorious process. It’s ugly, messy, and horrible. And as we really know, that body is being returned to the earth, with maggots eating away at the corpse, the soul of the dead person having been taken away to live FOREVER in either heaven or hell.
That’s the reality of death, my dear one; but I sit here, writing this, and I’d rather not think about a body decaying in the ground after burial. I’d rather go to a funeral or a graveside service and think joyfully of the living rather than the dead. But perhaps we need to think more readily and often about the reality of death. I really don’t pray hard enough or long enough for the relatives and friends – my dear ones – whom I know have rejected Christ. Because when their bodies are rotting away in the ground after they are dead, their souls, unless they come, as I have come, to recognize and accept Christ as Lord and Savior, it will be too late for them to see the reality of death while they lived.
Oh, how we, who know Christ as Lord, need to cry out to the living about the reality of the dead. And the most powerful thing we can do is pray, pray, pray for the living to come to a saving knowledge of Christ BEFORE their bodies decay in the ground and their souls confront the reality of eternity after death.
So, I’m convicted by my time with God today to pray more diligently than ever for those in my life and within the sphere of influence whom I know would not be with Christ tomorrow if death took them today.
My Prayer for Today: Oh, my Lord, I pray for my sister … my friend, Kay … and others who are in my mind today, … dear ones with whom I have shared my story of deliverance and Your plan of salvation. All I can do now is pray for You to break them unto a realization of the truth death holds for them. And I do so pray for them today! Amen