“It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.” (Ecclesiastes 7:2 KJV).
Many times we learn the hard lessons from our defeats and failures, than from our triumphs and successes. Yeah! Countless times, we learn a lot in our sober moments, in those seasons of pain and anguish, than in our spirited moments.
Last weekend saw a host of funeral services and interments in my little town of Effiduase in Koforidua, in the Eastern Region of Ghana. As I heard the continuous scream of the motor hearses that strolled our streets, these lessons were dropped into my spirit by the Holy Spirit:
1] There is an end to man. In the place of mourning, one sees the fate of all men; that the creature called Man never abides on our earth forever—as there is a time of birth, there is also a time of death (Ecclesiastes 3:2). Therefore, all men have to put this certain truth to heart and live their lives accordingly.
However, after death, one thing is most certain, THE JUDGMENT: “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27 KJV). “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10 KJV).
In this regard, it behooves us to live our lives on Earth in a way that would please our Eternal Judge, our Lord Jesus Christ. We must fulfill our God-given purpose, and prepare to meet Him (Amos 4:12). We must finish His assignment, so we would not be ashamed when we meet Him face-to-face in the Day of Judgment (2 Timothy 4:7).
The great prophet of old, Moses, once asked God to “teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom” (Psalm 90:12 KJV).
The fact that we are not going to be here forever must make us humble as we go about our daily activities. “LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am” (Psalm 39:4 KJV). This was the heartfelt pray of King David in recognition of this truth.
2] Man is not to be feared. There is a limit to man. Since there is an end to man, he can’t torment any person on Earth forever. A day comes when he can no more inflict oppression on people. Therefore, he is not to be feared.
Jesus, in his teachings, warned his disciples whom to fear: “But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.” (Luke 12:5 KJV). Christ warned his followers to fear God, and not man.
The Psalmist said, “Verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity” (Psalm 39:5 KJV). Never be afraid of man because “the fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe” (Proverbs 29:25 KJV). The Preacher said in Ecclesiastes 12:13: “Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”
The fear of man has made many trod paths of unrighteousness, just to please people. Yes! And the fear of man has made a lot of people live in mediocrity, especially in Africa, where successful people are always under attack.
The King David knew his source of security and strength when he said: “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1 KJV). “The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?” (Psalm 118:6 KJV).
Always remember when you are attempted to be afraid of the evil schemes of wicked men in these times of uncertainty that “the fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe” (Proverbs 29:25 KJV).
3] Never rely on, or put your trust in man. Since man does not have the ultimate power to his existence on Earth, man can’t be wholly trusted. You can’t rely on mortal man to meet your needs. “Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish. Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God.” (Psalm 146:3-5 KJV).
It is certain that the day he dies, all his good intentions about his promised help to you go with him into the grave—from which he could offer you no assistant. That is why we should rather trust and depend on God to meet our needs. The LORD reigns forever. It is He who can touch men to offer assistance to you even if they are unwilling. “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will” (Proverbs 21:1 KJV). His ways are awesome.
Unquestionably, the frailty of man should make us think twice when we conceive the idea of putting our trust in our fellow man. The Scriptures say: “Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited. Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.” (Jeremiah 17:5-7).
In the house of mourning, so many lessons are available to the wise in heart. These are but a few. We should keep these lessons to heart, and should be conscious of the fact that history keeps repeating itself, but mostly to people who fail to learn from its lessons.
God bless you!