“There is no man that has power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither has he power in the day of death. . .”

Ecclesiastes 8:8a

It’s something we all face, even though we don’t know when it will be; that’s why it’s important to always be ready.
The Great Terrorist that seems to delight in sowing fear and despair. That Tormenter that often ravages one’s body with disease and deformity in preparation for his advent. That Thief that steals one’s peace-of-mind, leaving fear in its place prior to the day of his arrival.

We know he’s “out there somewhere,” lurking in the shadows. . .just biding his time. . . looking forward to the time when he can place his icy fingers around another victim’s heart. And, truly, he is no “respecter of persons,” for he preys on the rich and the poor, the educated and the uneducated, the religious and atheist alike.

King Solomon knew this when he penned today’s Manna. He knew when Death comes knocking at one’s heart’s door that there will be no refusal or running away. He, like the anonymous author of Hebrews, knew “it is appointed unto man once to die” (Heb. 9:27a). Almost 40 years before he’d seen his dear father breathe his last and helped bury his lifeless body in the grave (I Chron. 29:26-28).

That’s why he said “There is no man that has power (Heb. ‘shalliyt’—‘potency, warrior, mighty, ruler, to dominate, etc.’) over the spirit to retain (Heb. ‘kala’—‘to restrict, hold back or in, prohibit, forbid, etc.’) it; neither has he power in the day of death.” He knew that no power on earth or one’s position as a powerful potentate could keep Death’s angel from his mission when the time had come.

As the beasts of the field die, so do the rich-and-famous (Eccl. 3:18-22). As the prince dies in his royal bed, so does the pauper die in his shanty and sordid conditions. But, we need not give in to those feels of “vanity, vanity, all is vanity under the sun,” as Solomon did.

Not when God’s Son has risen, never to set again. Hallelujah!
Assuredly, none of us have the “power to retain the spirit in the day of death.” Although the Lord has blessed us with brilliant doctors and nurses, powerful medicines, wonderful hospitals and equipment, when the Death Train’s whistle blows and the Conductor says, “All aboard,” all those who name is called will get aboard.

However, all those who’ve been born again will board a different Train. It’ll be the Glory Train. The Conductor is Christ. The ticket was purchased at Calvary. And, the Destination is that glorious, Celestial City that’s been prepared for all those who’ve placed their faith and trust in Jesus. No wonder the Apostle Paul wrote like he did in I Cor. 15:12-58. No wonder he could taunt Death with the words “O Death, where is your sting? O Grave, where is your victory?!?” (v.55). He knew the same Power that raised Jesus from the dead is the same Power that will also raise us (Eph. 2:4-7)! So, do not fret over death, dear Pilgrim. Rejoice instead! Glory!!

July 21, 2011