During a public prayer recently, the one guiding our thoughts described how great God is in taking care of us, even though the hairs on our head are numbered (Matthew 10:28-31). OK, that’s probably not exactly what he said because he probably didn’t include the word, “though,” and I know that in the context it’s meant to show how well God keeps track of our lives – that we are more important than the least of the birds (Luke 12:4-7).
Still, I connected the statement that our hairs are numbered with God’s message to Belshazzar in Daniel 5:22-28 and Jeremiah’s statement in Lamentations 4:18 that their days were numbered (coming to an end). My picture somewhere on this page shows that my numbered hairs are falling to the ground faster than sparrows. In fact, the number probably changes so rapidly that God has to continually do a recount.
The Bible describes a couple of things as being numbered — having a definite limit. One of those has already been mentioned and, although neither of the references to numbered days refers to humankind in general, each person has a limited time on earth (Psalm 90:10; Job 14:5). Even before we were conceived, God knew and cared about us, including knowing the number of our days on earth in addition to the number of hairs on our head at any point in time (Psalm 139:14-16).
The days of this world also are numbered because God designed it to wear out like a garment (Psalm 102:25-28). A day has been set when it will all come to an end (Acts 17:30, 31; 2 Peter 3:8-10). Whether our last day will be coincidental with the last day of the world or we precede the end of the world with our death, the end result will be the same because everyone will be judged based on what they’ve done while on earth (2 Corinthians 5:10; Matthew 25:31-46; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).
For our good, God has put each one of us on earth in the best time and place to learn about him so no one has to face a joyless eternity, but it is up to each person to prepare themselves to live with God (Acts 17:26, 27). This life is the only chance we have to do that and our salvation (or condemnation) is nearer now than it’s ever been before (Romans 13:11-14; 8:1-17; 2 Peter 3:11-13). We live, we die, we face the judgment (Hebrews 9:27, 28).
During his time of suffering, Job said that his life was flying by and would end without a glimpse of hope or joy (Job 7:6; 9:25). Despite the bleakness of life, we can see good days and enjoy life by turning from evil and doing good as we seek peace with God (Psalm 139:12-14; 90:14, 12). Otherwise, our life will end without joy. Consequently, everyone’s thoughts should be guided by the fact that we don’t know when our number will be up (Matthew 24:36-51).
Are you ready (Amos 4:12)?