From the “Bible Facts” Newpaper Articles by Ian Kuryyk, November 2012
"Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away" (James 4:14).
In the very first verse of the Bible we read, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth”. God’s original creative act brought into existence space, matter, and time.
Mankind is subject to time as part of the limitations placed on all created beings. We accomplish work by effort over time. God can do whatever He ordains by His infinite power without any such restriction. Before sin came into the world time was a blessing entirely, as it gave opportunity to mankind to accomplish their purposes.
When sin came and the curse fell on the creation, time became, in one sense, a great enemy. The death sentence that fell on this world of sin works now largely by the passage of time. The sure ticking of the clock ratchets every soul closer and closer to the grave and to eternity. Every good thing of this life is subject to the erosion and ultimate loss brought by time.
The Bible challenges us to stop and reflect on the brevity of life, since we go through our daily routines with our noses so close to the earth we seldom lift our heads to thoughtfully reflect on the clock’s moving hands. James says our life is like a vapour, like the steam that appears briefly over the top of our coffee cups and then is gone. The truth of this is harder and harder to avoid as the years pass, the flower of youth fades, and we see the preceding generation go to what the Bible calls their “long home”.
Time can still be a blessing when we pay heed to what the Word of God has to say about its proper usage. The first lesson for all is to seize the moment of opportunity given by God’s grace. “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (II Corinthians 6:2b). The wise man realizes that God makes a bona fide offer of salvation in the present time to all who will trust His Son Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour. God does not promise us a single day more in which we could claim the benefit. “Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth” (Proverbs 27:1).