“You punish our sins by your rebukes, and like a moth you destroy what we love. Indeed we are no more than a puff of wind!”
Ps 39:11 GNB
Shakespeare said that human life is “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”. But many people are not as pessimistic as that. They think it is fun, or a fight to be waged, or a stage upon which the actors strut around. And most people grossly exaggerate their own importance. Many think that what they do and how they live is no concern of God’s. So, they assume, the best thing is to indulge yourself and enjoy life whilst you can.
The poet who wrote Psalm 39 thought differently. For him life was lived under God. Its ups and downs came from him. Whilst we assume God’s love is the great underlying factor and he will forgive anything we do, the psalmist believed that God ruled and called people to account for their actions. This meant that, when they disobeyed his commands, he judged them, punished them if need be, and, compared to the shortness of human life, his rule was permanent. God was great, eternal, the creator and ruler of all. Next to him human life was but a puff of wind.
It is a very salutary correction to the modern attitude. For the Christian believer God is not just there to supply us with everything we want and to excuse every misdeed. He is a God who loves us so much that he requires upright, strong, courageous and loving actions of us. He places us as stewards in his world and of his creation. He wants us to be much more than a puff of wind!
PRAYER THOUGHT Lord, help me to live with strength under you.