Charles Spurgeon Study Bible Notes:
On 1 Kings 20:40 (last part) – “As an arrow which falls short of the mark, as a fig tree which yields no figs, as a candle which smokes but yields no light, as a cloud without rain and a well without water is one who has not served the Lord. He has led a wasted life, a life to which the flower and glory of existence are lacking. Call it not life at all, but write it down as animated death.”
Recently, I saw a group of boys who were running laps inside of a gym – doing various exercises for nearly an hour, mind you, all while wearing a mask! Hard to imagine that as being a young person’s reality, but in these distressing times, unfortunately, it is. Even at the grocery store, whenever I see little children in the carts, I feel a sense of sadness for them because their day and age consists of looking around at a world of half-hidden faces. It is hard not to feel like we are living in a time of ‘animated death,’ meaning that it just has the appearance of living, but in essence, it is more like dying in many ways. Dying to freedom, dying to hope, dying to what once was, dying to normalcy, just all around dying.
Psalm 23:4 “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”
From gotquestions.org: What does it mean to walk through the valley of the shadow of death?
Sheep do not understand the concept of death. They do understand, though, that entering a dark valley can be dangerous. The point of Psalm 23:4 is that, even when we might have reason to be afraid, we do not need to fear, because God is with us, and He will take care of us. He, like a shepherd, knows what He is doing and has our best interests in mind. – Source
To be honest, we do not know what 2021 will hold. From this standpoint, it does not look good, especially from a spiritual perspective. While at the same time, though, we know from God’s Word that we are not to be careful (anxious) about anything but in all things by prayer and supplication, making our requests known unto God, for He cares for us. His Word also tells us to Trust in the Lord with all our heart (mind) and lean not unto our own understanding, acknowledge Him in all our ways, and He will make our paths straight. This means that whatever happens is God’s Will, and He knows what is best and allows things to happen in our lives for our good and for His Glory.
Philippians 4:6 “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
From bibleref.com: What does Philippians 4:6 mean?
Because the Lord is at hand, or is about to return (Philippians 4:5), believers should set their lives and thoughts in certain ways. Paul begins with a contrast between anxiety and prayer. He notes believers shouldn’t be “anxious about anything.” This does not imply a complete lack of concern. Nor does it mean Christians are to be careless. Instead, it means that believers should not be fearful, paranoid, or uneasy. Why not? Believers can speak directly with God, the maker of heaven and earth, who has all power and authority, who is in total control of the situation.
Instead of anxiety, believers are to humbly and gratefully approach God with whatever is on their minds. Mature prayer includes thanking God for what He has done in addition to asking for help in areas of need. This is the Christian prescription to reduce anxiety in all areas of life. This does not mean believers are going to live a worry-free life. Nor does it mean additional help won’t be required. However, it does show that addressing problems in our lives should begin with prayer. – Source
Those without the assurance of salvation tend to be ‘terrified’ at the things that are happening in these Last Days. There are some who are obsessed with the fear of getting the virus; and by obsessed, I mean it is on the forefront of their minds literally 24/7! More than likely, it is because they are tuned into the ‘fearmongering frequency.’ On the other end of the spectrum, the reason Born-Again Believers have a sense of Peace is because we know we are not given a ‘spirit of fear’ but of Love, Power, and of a Sound Mind. Therefore, we can face each day without fear and without obsessing whether we will catch this plague and die from it, because for us to live is Christ and to die is gain!
2 Timothy 1:7 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
Sadly, those who are Lost do not have this Peace or Assurance within; they woefully rely on themselves and often fail, fall, and falter because they do not have the ever-essential aid of the Holy Spirit! Jesus tells us that He is the vine and that we are the branches, and we who abide in Him and He in us will bring forth much fruit, for without Him we can do nothing! Basically, we cannot do anything without Him!
Who do you think allows us our next breath? Who do you think allows our limbs, organs, and body parts to continue functioning? Who do you think allows our eyes to see, ears to hear, mouths to speak, and our minds to think? Who do you think sustains the whole earth with oxygen, water, nutrients, and everything we need to survive another day? Another way to put it is that without Jesus Christ, we are essentially the ‘walking dead‘ or, as Spurgeon would say, a type of animated death!
For example, every time we attend my husband’s favorite restaurant, there is a certain waiter that waits on us. Without fail, he always asks if we have eaten there before, and every time we want to say, “Um, yeah, you have only waited on us at least 30 times by now.” It is almost as if he is a mindless Robot, a lifeless Drone, or a walking dead Zombie who is missing the facial recognition software and/or is absent of any cognitive remembrance of his customers. Again, such is the animated death we encounter throughout our society these days. Sad but true.
All of this gives us all the more reason to look forward to our Blessed Hope! Each and every day, the petition “Maranatha” becomes more fervent! Come quickly, Lord Jesus… and may we be accounted worthy to escape all of the things to come and to stand before the Son of Man!
1 Corinthians 15:51-54 “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal [must] put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.”
Until next time… Maranatha!
JESUS = THE WAY, THE TRUTH, & THE LIFE!
Yeshua Will Come!