Proverbs 11:7 When a wicked man dies, his hope perishes;
all he expected from his power comes to nothing.
Not all hopes are the same. We have countless examples of people whose evil plans, both big and small, were dashed when they died. Hitler and Stalin come to mind, but the same may be said for your small-time evil person. That’s not to say that their evil doesn’t affect succeeding generations, but it’s certainly not as they themselves had planned. Right now there are rumors that Vladimir Putin is suffering from terminal colon cancer, but that seems like it’s probably wishful thinking. The thing is, everyone faces death. From the moment of conception it is inevitable, and it puts an end to temporal, earthly considerations. Philosophers, religious leaders, and thoughtful people of all stripes have considered and pontificated on this reality down through the centuries. The logical course is to pin our hopes on the eternal, on God who was before time and will still be when there is no physical universe left. Those who try to ignore God forget such basic things as entropy, which says that everything runs downhill unless an external force acts on it. That simple principle destroys the whole idea of evolution, because things don’t become more complex without external forces. Those with wisdom recognize that the ultimate external force is God, the Creator of it all. Those who have been blinded by greed, lust, or countless other tools of the devil don’t really see God in the picture at all. They are the ones this verse is talking about. However, we must be careful not to point our fingers at “bad guys” and fail to recognize how we ourselves have ignored God in practical terms, all the while professing to believe in and follow Him. We need to be careful that the old hymn really is our personal testimony: “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.” When that is true, others will see that hope and desire it for themselves, drawing them to repentance and faith.
I’m in intensely personal training in this very area right now. I have been impressed recently with the abundance and richness of God’s blessings, but then negative things have totally grabbed my attention. I must not let low-level hopes and desires distract me from the glorious hope that is laid out for me. At the same time, I must not dismiss current responsibilities with the excuse that “that’s temporal.” I am to be faithful on a moment-by-moment basis, all the while remembering that God has eternal glory planned and prepared for me. The better I grasp that, the more I will be transformed into the likeness of my Lord Jesus, and abiding in Him is my ultimate hope.
Father, thank You for this reminder. The matter of my wife’s computer is rather consuming, coming on top of the beginning of a new school term and preparations for the annual church business meeting. I do ask for Your solution to the computer issue on Your schedule, and for wisdom in dealing with all the other things that confront me, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!