15The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tabernacles of the righteous: the right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly.
16The right hand of the LORD is exalted: the right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly.
17I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD.
18The LORD hath chastened me sore: but he hath not given me over unto death.
(Psalm 118:15-18, King James Version)
Life or Death
Psalm 118 presents an interesting scenario for today's teens. Though this Psalm was written over 2000 years ago, it is timely and pertinent to you specifically. The Psalm is filled with double meanings as we ponder the choice we must all make: Life or Death! It would seem to be a simple choice to make, and yet most choose death!
The Psalmist begins this section with abundant praise and honor for the Lord who works valiantly on behalf of His children. True rejoicing and true salvation are only possible as gifts from the Lord; He alone is to be exalted, for it is He who grants us life or death. Though the Lord chastened the Psalmist grievously he understood that the chastening of the Lord was not unto death, but rather was sent to drive him to God.
As a teen, you have probably encountered and maybe even have felt yourself the prevailing attitude of this age. If their really is a God, then He owes mankind. Because it is in His power to prevent evil and to do good, we seem to think it is His responsibility to continually prevent evil--especially to ourselves, and to only do good to all of humanity. This attitude shows our total lack of comprehension of good and evil, and of justice or lack of justice.
Does God really owe mankind anything? God granted everything to Adam and Eve: a perfect environment, perfect health, and a fulfilling responsibility. Along with all He granted to them, God gave them the opportunity to continue as they were or to choose to disobey. They foolishly listened to the voice of the serpent who dangled the temptation of knowing good and evil--like God--before them. Upon their disobedience they did understand good and evil, but their choice had been made and the repercussions of that choice have been thrust upon all mankind.
Should God have prevented them from their fatal choice? Should God have made them like puppets who would live eternally in a perfect environment? No! Though every person born has stamped upon them the sin nature (and knowledge of good and evil), every person still must make a choice to continue in their sin and rebellion against God, or to come to Him and accept the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. In other words, everyone must choose life or death.
As believers it is our responsibility to present the truth to all those we meet and to pray that God will open their eyes that they might comprehend the truth and come to Christ. Sadly, left to ourselves we do not have the power to make that choice, but God, who is rich in abundant grace and mercy can open our eyes and minds to the truth of His Word.
God owes mankind nothing! Yet, in His great and wondrous love, He uses the trials, the difficulties, and even the tragedies of our lives to bring us to Him--or closer to Him. As our eyes of understanding are opened, we understand what the Psalmist meant: The LORD has chastened me sore: but he hath not given me over to death.
Not only did God protect the writer from physical death, He also protected him from eternal death.
Life or death! The choice is yours.
God Bless You,