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What Does The Future Hold?

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At one time or another everyone has wondered what lies ahead in the near future. Will things be good, not so good, or not at all good? Will things happen quickly – even quite soon? Many passages in the scriptures speak of the future, yet often in varying ways.

In this regard it is interesting to note that several Psalms address the question of the future (e.g. Psalm 1:5 depicts the future of the wicked). One of the most informative is the 37th Psalm. Indeed, Psalm 37 is an extremely informative Hebrew text and is well-known as an alphabetic psalm. It is also a psalm that is rich in its teaching concerning God’s will. Two passages are especially meaningful: verses 1-2 and 35-36. As a note in the NIV Bible points out concerning verses 1-2, these verses speak of “the problem of the apparent prosperity of the wicked and the need of the faithful to trust the Lord and find refuge in him.”1 In verses 35-36 we read that the evil-doer, however temporarily successful, will “soon pass away and cease to exist”.

As well, it is of great interest to note that verses 3-7 in Psalm 37 teach the value of a whole-soul committal to God – intellectually (v. 3), emotionally (v. 4), and willingly (vv. 5-6). Having done so, the believer may and should use his whole personality to trust in God and, as well, be patient as he waits for God’s help (v. 7).2

As a later psalmist observes, without the Lord’s help one could quickly lose everything – even his life (Ps. 94:16-19). Moreover, in a Korahite psalm, we are assured that the Lord ultimately is in control and he can and will serve as mankind’s “guide even to the end” (Ps. 48:14). Therefore, believers can and should tell others of the Lord’s “mighty acts” and his unequalled “righteousness”:

But as for me, I will always have hope;
I will praise you more and more.

My mouth will tell of your righteousness,
of your salvation all day long,
though I know not its measure.

I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, O Sovereign LORD;
I will proclaim your righteousness, yours alone. (Ps. 71:14-16)3

May we all, then, as did the ancient Israelites, teach others saying:

I will open my mouth in parables;
I will utter hidden things, things from of old –

What we have heard and known,
what our fathers have told us.

We will not hide them from their children;
we will tell the next generation. (Ps. 78:2-4)

This we should do so that the next generation will be informed, know, and respond to the Lord’s enablement:

He decreed statutes for Jacob
and established the law in Israel,

Which He commanded our forefathers
to teach their children,

so the next generation would know them,
even the children yet to be born,
and they in turn would tell their children. (Ps. 78:5-6)

May we live out each day in consistent commitment to the Lord, to His standards, and to His will. As B. Mansell Ramsey writes:

Teach me Thy way, O Lord, Teach me Thy way!
Thy guiding grace afford – Teach me Thy way.
Help me to walk aright, more by faith, less by sight;
Lead me with heavenly light, Teach me Thy way! …
Long as my life shall last, Teach me Thy way!
Where’er my lot be cast, Teach me Thy way!
Until the race is run, Until the journey’s done,
Until the crown is won, Teach me Thy way!4

And as Kate B. Wilkinson writes,

May the love of Jesus fill me
As the waters fill the sea;
Him exalting, self-abasing –
This is victory.5

1 See further, the NIV Study Bible, “Faith in Action Study Bible”, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2003), 850.

2 It is of interest to note that the Holy Spirit has these same personal attributes, although in divine proportion.

3 All scripture references are from the NIV.

4 B. Mansell Ramsey, Teach Me Thy Way, O Lord”.

5 Kate B. Wilkinson, ‘May The Mind of Christ, My Savior”.

Related Topics: Christian Life, Devotionals

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