In the hands of destiny and beyond the grave, earthly hope is nothing. Our hope is only worth leaning on and only satisfies truly when it affects our eternity, because we are eternal beings. Today we see that Jesus’ resurrection provides for that eternal hope…
11 Can papyrus grow tall where there is no marsh?
Can reeds thrive without water?
12 While still growing and uncut,
they wither more quickly than grass.
13 Such is the destiny of all who forget God;
so perishes the hope of the godless.
14 What they trust in is fragile;
what they rely on is a spider’s web.
15 They lean on the web, but it gives way;
they cling to it, but it does not hold.
When Bildad, Job’s friend, seeks to comfort him, his encouragement is based on Job’s goodness and trust in God contrasted to those who do not have relationship with the Lord. And it is in Bildad’s description of the godless which catches my attention this morning.
I have also been reading Hebrews and specifically chapter 11, which provides example after example of those who have trusted in God in fullness of faith. Hebrews documents how these people of faith were used by God and how pleased God was with them.
Bildad speaks of a contrasting image, in which papyrus cannot grow without marsh and the nutrients it needs to mature. It will wither even as it tries to grow because there is no other source to sustain it.
To be without God, to Bildad, is like leaning on a spider’s web. Whatever the person without faith relies upon is fragile and will give way when it is leaned upon. This is the destiny, he says, for those who forget God. The hope of people who live apart from God is a perishing hope. It may sustain today, yet in the hands of destiny and beyond the grave, this earthly hope is nothing.
This reminds me of 1Corinthians 15, in which Paul discusses the resurrection of Jesus. If Jesus is not raised, having defeated death and sin, we have no hope which will last beyond this life. He says that if we only have the hope of Jesus for this life and not for eternity, then we are to be pitied among all people (1Corinthians 15:19).
And that’s it: even hope in Jesus, if it is only applicable in this life, is not enough. It is a waste of our time. It will leave us to be pitied, because it is temporal. Our hope is only worth leaning on and only satisfies truly when it affects our eternity, because we are eternal beings.
What are you hoping in today? On what do you lean today? Will it hold up after this life or only for this season? If it is wealth or family or self-confidence or health or anything which is bound within the walls of these years on earth, it is not enough.
Praise God that Jesus has indeed been raised from the dead and has defeated sin and death. Our hope is a living hope in Christ and transcends from life through death to eternal life. Put your hope in Jesus today!