“For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” (James
The insistent voice of the Holy Spirit reminds mortal man frequently in the Scriptures of the brevity of his
life. By the repeated use of similes, the Spirit of the Lord impresses on us that our days are limited and
For instance, He likens life to a weaver’s shuttle (Job 7:6), the device that darts back and forth in the loom
almost faster than the eye can follow.
Job speaks of life as wind (Job 7:7), here one minute and gone the next, never to return. The psalmist
echoes the sentiment, speaking of “a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again” (Psa. 78:39).
Bildad unnecessarily reminds Job that “our days on earth are a shadow” (Job 8:9), a picture that is
repeated in Psalm 102:11, “My days are like a shadow that declineth.” A shadow is ephemeral—lasting a
very short time.
Job compares his life to a leaf (Job 13:25), fragile, frail and fading; and to dry stubble, driven away by the
winds. Isaiah appeals to the Lord’s pity by reminding Him that “we all do fade as a leaf” (Isa. 64:6).
David describes his days as a handbreadth (Psa. 39:5), as narrow as the width of his hand. Viewing life as a
journey, it would be about four inches long.
Moses, the man of God, depicts life as a sleep (Psa. 90:5), in which time passes without our being
conscious of it.
In the same place, Moses speaks of people and their lives as grass: “In the morning they are like grass
which groweth up. In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down and
withereth” (Psa. 90:5,6). Centuries later David used the same figure in describing our transiency: “As for
man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is
gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more” (Psa. 103:15, 16). As Spurgeon said, the grass is “sown,
grown, blown, mown, gone.” And that is life in a nutshell!
Finally James adds his testimony that life is as evanescent as vapor (Jas. 4:14). It appears for a brief
moment, then vanishes away.
This accumulation of similes is designed to do two things. First, it should motivate the unconverted to
consider the shortness of time and the importance of being ready to meet God. Second it should cause
believers to number their days so that they might apply their hearts to wisdom (Psa. 90:12). This will result
in lives or devotion and dedication to Christ, in lives that are lived for eternity.
Welcome to our web site. Grace Bible Chapel
extends to you a warm welcome. If you are
searching for a place to worship the Lord
Jesus Christ and serve Him, please plan to
visit us. You may view a listing of our
services on "Our Meetings" page. Please visit
the "Links" page, too.
Grace Bible Chapel of Springfield, Illinois
|OCTOBER 2, 2016
|OCTOBER 9, 2016
|OCTOBER 16, 2016
|OCTOBER 23, 2016
|OCTOBER 30, 2016
Below is a meditation written, by Mr. William MacDonald. 1917-2007
FLOYD PIERCE will be our speaker at our 11 a.m. Family Bible
Hour on Sunday, OCTOBER 2, 2016. Along with his wife Helen,
Floyd served the Lord as a Missionary in Brazil for 35 years.
The Helen Leticia Pierce Christian Schools may be seen at
www.escolacrista.com Floyd serves as an elder and Sunday
School teacher in our adult class. They have three grown
children and many foster children in Brazil. They are
grandparents to nine grandchildren and six great
grandchildren. They offer free Bible correspondence courses
in English and Portuguese at this site. Click here