“It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, since that is the end of all mankind, and the living should take it to heart.”
Ecclesiastes 7:2 (CSB)
Not long ago, I lost a friend quite suddenly to cancer. Many people wondered why God allowed such a sudden, unexpected death to one so young. Why didn’t God prevent it?
Followers of Christ once wondered the same when a tower suddenly fell and killed 18 people (Luke 13:4). When the disciples asked about the tragedy, Jesus answered them, saying, “… What about those people who died? Were they the worst sinners? No, and I tell you again that unless you repent, you will perish, too.”
What an odd response. Rather than suggest a cause for all those senseless deaths, Jesus responds by telling his followers to repent. God is not inclined to reveal his reasoning for allowing wars, natural disasters, and great tragedies. Catastrophes do, however, drive home how fleeting and frail our lives really are. The death of others should alarm us and prompt us to reflect on larger issues of life, helping us to repent and seek salvation.
This week, whether you find yourself in a house of feasting or a house of mourning, remember the fleeting nature of this world. Stake your life on the gospel, “for the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord,” (Romans 6:23, CSB), and give thanks for your salvation.
Thank you Father God for the gift of eternal life you give me in Christ Jesus. When I think about the many tragedies of this world, my heart grieves over the great brokenness brought by humanity’s sin in the Garden of Eden. Help me to live in sober remembrance of the frailty of this life and be eternally grateful for your salvation.