“One of the greatest mistakes we can make is to set our houses in order from our deathbeds.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – April 13, 2023
In those days Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him, and said to him, “Thus says the Lord: Set your house in order, for you shall die, you shall not recover.” Isaiah 38:1, ESV
If you’re here today looking for a few moments of lighthearted warmth and inspiration, I’m afraid I must apologize here at the outset. This is not one of those devotionals. Instead, I invite you to join me for a few moments in reflecting upon our mortality and the ways we ignore and push to the periphery of our lives the uncomfortable truth that each of us will one day arrive at our final day.
In the name of “progress,” we are trained and coached to look to the future. We set goals for ourselves: financial goals, relational goals, and physical goals. Yet what is often lacking in this journey of self and discovery is a sober-minded embrace of the true future we all truly face. After all of our searching and striving, or as is often the case, right in the midst of it all, we find ourselves interrupted by our mortality. Though our digital world has infinitely increased our ease of existence, it has yet to extend it in any meaningful or substantial way. The words of the ancient Psalm are still as true today as they were then: “Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures” (Psalm 90:10).
In the book of Isaiah, we find the prophet speaking difficult words to Hezekiah. “Thus says the Lord: Set your house in order, for you shall die, you shall not recover” (Isaiah 38:1). I imagine that for most of us, if these words were spoken over us today, they would throw us into a great panic! “I’m not ready!” might be our common refrain. As such, we ignore, ignore, ignore, and then hope and trust that it will all work out in the end.
One of the greatest mistakes we can make is to set our houses in order from our deathbeds.
Instead, what if you and I receive these words from Isaiah 38, not as a deathbed prophecy, but as a guiding light for the whole of our lives? Whether you have one day or thousands of days left upon this earth, can you today have the courage and clarity of mind to make the right-ordering of your house a vision that animates and orients each and every moment of life?
When we look ahead to our true and eternal future, we begin to order our homes in the present by the values and virtues of the eternal kingdom of God. Let us begin that holy work today and continue in it for as long as we have breath.
Father, teach us to number our days and to live each day in light of eternity, we pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.
How can you begin to set your house in holy order this very moment?
Audrey Assad: Lead Me On
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