Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate. (Psa 127:3-5) Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. (Eze 18:4)
“God says here that all souls belong to Him. If the sins of the fathers come upon the children, it is because the children have followed the wickedness of their fathers. Every man shall be put to death for his own sin. We read in Deu_24:16, "The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin.""The soul that sinneth, it shall die"—God will judge each individual. (McGee)
Children are the jewels of Heaven given to fathers and mothers to raise for the One who gave them. Though we feel like they are ours, they are not truly ours. Sometimes at the grave side a mother may ask God “why did you take my baby?” I’ve known a few mothers who were so angry at God that they carried it inside them for many years. They lash out at people over the slightest provocation because they are an angry person; angry at God.
When I found my first wife, Shirley, dead at age 49, I knew I had 30 seconds to give it up. I did not own her. God had the first claim. I had seen people destroy themselves and people around them from their root of bitterness toward God. Holding a grudge against God is expensive. When death takes a loved one, it rips and tears the soul. It changes the chemistry and hormones in the body of the one grieving. It goes on for months and takes a severe toll. It’s the paying of interest on the loan.
When a young person is killed, the funeral home is quiet and talk among the visitors is low and hushed. People share the feeling that something is amiss. “This is not natural.” When an old person dies, the funeral home is noisy as people gather to visit and catch up on the news. It is not unusual for laughter to break out because the visitors are disconnected from the one departed.
I’ve mentioned this before: the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D. C. has a rounded top like half a ball resting on the walls. It signifies that Jefferson lived to a full age. In contrast, the Lincoln Memorial in Washington has a flat roof, indicating that Lincoln’s life was cut off.
We are reluctant to look at the end of life as we know it. We have enjoyed the company and fellowship of those who have reached the end of their earthly journey. And now, there is a price to pay in grieving and sorrow and before long, loneliness. One of the great mysteries of life is how we gather around those who are sorrowing and try to comfort them. Paul said, But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. (1Th 4:13)
God has loaned us our family members and friends and when they are gone, we must pay the interest on the loan. God gave us feelings to laugh and weep. Friends in North Carolina told us about a Blue Jay that died in their yard. Soon, other Blue Jays began to gather around. At one point, they began to mourn and wail over the dead bird in their midst. And then, they all flew away.
When I was about sixteen, I heard a reading on the radio about an incident that occurred in Savanah, Georgia. I’ve inserted it here. You will recognize today’s title in the reading. Some may remember it. I think maybe Hank Williams and some other country singers included it in their repertoire
THE FUNERAL Written by Fred Rose
I was walking in Savannah past a church, decayed and dim
When slowly through the window came a plaintive funeral hymn
And my sympathy awakened and a wonder quickly grew
'Til I found myself envired in a little colored pew.
Out front a colored couple sat in sorrow, nearly wild
On the altar was a casket and in the casket was a child
I could picture him while livin', curly hair, protuding lips
I'd seen perhaps a thousand in my hurried southern trips.
Rose a sad, old colored preacher from his little wooden desk
With a manner sorta awkward, and countenance grotesque
The simplicity and shrewdness in his Eithopian face
Showed the wisdom and ignorance of a crushed, undying race.
And he said, "Now don't be weepin' for this pretty bit of clay
For the little boy who lived there has done gone and run away
He was doin' very finely and he appreciates your love
But his shore 'nuff Father wanted him in the big house up above.
The Lord didn't give you that baby, by no hundred thousand miles
He just thought you need some sunshine, and He lent it for awhile
And He let you keep and love it 'til your hearts were bigger grown
And these silver tears you're sheddin' now is just interest on the loan.
Just think, my poor dear mourners, creepin' 'long on sorrows life's way
What a blessed picnic this here baby got today
Your good fathers and good mothers crowd the little fellow 'round
In the Angel's tender garden of the big plantation ground.
And his eyes they brightly sparkle at the pretty things he viewed
But a tear came, and he whispered, 'I want my parents , too'
But then the Angel's chief musicians teach that little boy a song
Says if only they be faithful they'll soon be comin' 'long.
So, my poor detached mourners, let your hearts with Jesus rest
And don't go to criticizin' the One what knows the best
He has give us many comforts, He's got the right to take away
To the Lord be praised in glory, forever, let us pray." Ω
READ THROUGH THE BIBLE IN A YEAR
MARCH 1, 2017 – WEDNESDAY
A.M. Numbers 26-27 P.M. Mark 8:22-38
(Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.)
MEMORY VERSE THIS MONTH:
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Thy sight. O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.
SONG FOR TODAY:
Male Quartet: Steal Away Home (Calvary Mem.So.Pines,NC)
HEALTH TIP: Tablets and Capsules – Tablets are the oldest and most reliable way of packaging small amounts of medicine and herbs for swallowing. Capsules are the new kid on the block. They are usually made of gelatin derived from animals. Some people are allergic to capsules. But, capsules are easy to swallow and if one gets hung up in the throat, it will dissolve in a few minutes. A tablet may or may not dissolve in a few minutes. Mineral tablets are like horse pills and hard to swallow.
I read a story many years ago by a man who was in charge of washing out port-a-toilets. What amazed him was the number of vitamin tablets there were in the units he was cleaning. They were going through the people and not dissolving. We still take a few things by tablet, like blood pressure and thyroid medicine, but they’re soft and dissolve quickly. We get all our vitamins and minerals in powder form, in capsules. I keep a kit for filling capsules and a supply of capsules on hand. They’re useful for several kinds of powders and herbs, if needed. We use Ibuprophen in tablet form. Some things come in gel form and absorb well but cost more. Ω