The days are evil – and short
Days are not evil in themselves since God created the heaven and the earth and all that is in them as ”very good”, but the phrase ”the days are evil” in Eph. 5:16 signifies that the days (when we are normally active) are filled with temptations with the subsequent risk that also believers choose to give in for them and sin. We are also told to redeem the time.
Adam Clarke says ”Let time be your chief commodity; deal in that alone; buy it all up, and use every portion of it yourselves. Time is that on which eternity depends; in time ye are to get a preparation for the kingdom of God; if you get not this in time, your ruin is inevitable; therefore, buy up the time.”
Eph. 5:15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
While death is uncomfortable to think about (our own and others) it is at the same time comforting to keep in mind that the upcoming world – the new Jerusalem – will be a permanent dwelling with no more tears. We are told that we will never ever die if we are true believers. Yes, our physical bodies will die, but our souls will get new bodies and live forever in an environment without death, pain and sorrow. Paul explains it well:
1 Cor. 15:35 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?36 Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die:37 And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain:38 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.39 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in in corruption:43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
2 Cor. 5:1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:3 If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.4 For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.5 Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.10 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.
Paul also explains that the suffering of this world cannot be compared to what is awaiting us: ”the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us”:
Rom. 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
Time is short and so is our life time here on earth. It might not always seem that way for a young person with 50-80 years ahead of him/her, but once you reach an older age and look back on your life the feeling is often that time has gone by in a rapid pace. We do not have much time to share the gospel because time is short. If there are also many uphills in our lives, such as pain, loneliness, melancholy, etc, such things will also soon cease!:
1 Cor. 7:29 But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none;30 And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not;31 And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.
Peter says about heaviness through temptations that this will last only for a season. Sometimes trials might even be useful for us so that we put our focus and hope on the only one who can save us, and to live a righteous life. The end result of our faith is the salvation of our souls.
Pet. 1:4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
All flesh is as grass, and the glory of man as a flower:
1 Pet. 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.
The things which are seen are temporal but the things which are not seen are eternal:
2 Cor. 4:16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
Matt. 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
Man is like dust, or as a flower, or as grass. All of them last just for a moment:
Psalm 103:14 For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.15 As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.16 For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.17 But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children;
Is. 40:6 The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field:7 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass.8 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.
Psalm 49:12 Nevertheless man being in honour abideth not: he is like the beasts that perish.
The good piece of news for believers who love God is again that we will not perish but have eternal life. Our strength comes from reading and hearing the word of God until the second coming of the son.
John 3:16 — For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.