When we seek truth in God’s word, the Holy Spirit will always lead us to truth. He did that once again for me when I recently read this passage in Luke’s gospel: “For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.” (Luke 9:25-26)
I put the book down for a moment as I then remembered a portion from Genesis. It reads like this: Then [King] Bela died . . . Then Jobab died . . . Then Husham died . . . Then Hadad died . . . Then Samlah died . . . Then Shaul died . . . Then Baalhanan [died]. (Genesis 36:31-38).
Seven times in seven verses the litany of death cycles through the names of kings – each of them rulers. Each mighty. Each great. They spoke and people obeyed. They judged and people feared.
But the staccato-like rhythm of death in that passage in Genesis, and the sober warning of Jesus in Luke’s gospel, should remind those with eyes to see of the grave’s absolute and unyielding certainty. And it should also remind us that in death’s reality, political power is utterly meaningless. Popularity is hollow. Beauty is vain. Wealth is empty.
When our eyes close one final time, only what was done for Christ will endure.