As I was reading Proverbs recently, this fact struck me: I was reading statements around 3,000 years old to find insights into life now. Astounding! How many ideas do you search that are 3,000 years old to discover insights on how to live your life today?

Why? How can anything so old be relevant? What possible insight from 3,000 years ago could be relevant to life now? How could a 3,000-year-old insight be applicable to life now? How could an insight declared verbally in a tiny nation that had no printing, no electricity, no sanitation department, no asphalt roads, no airplanes, no computers, and no cell phones be helpful to people who live in a shrinking world with numberless regulations and resources that can communicate worldwide instantly?

Wisdom focuses on two basic things. (1) A healthy relationship with God. (2) Healthy people-to-people relationships. Those two realties remain unchanged in every age. Material changes do not alter those realities. World War I was fought to end all wars. War continues. Penicillin would open the gates to ending disease. Germs, bacteria, viruses, and their relatives adapted. Our “War on Poverty” did not end poverty.

Greed is greed in any age. Only the goals of greed change. Deceit is deceit in any age. Only the goals of deceit change. Indulgence is indulgence in any age. Only the goals of personal pleasure change. Exploitation is exploitation in any age. Only the goals of using other people change. Manipulation is manipulation in any age. Only the goals of using deity or people change. Thus self-deception is always self-deception, and wasting life is always wasting life. It will do you no good to covet age 25 when you are 70—nothing will bring back 25!

Try telling God after you die, “You do not exist because I told You long ago You did not exist.” Try telling people you use how much you love and respect them. Considering the importance of God and people when most of your life is gone is often too late.

It is shocking to see how age changes your priorities! Suddenly what was very important and urgent when you were young becomes extremely unimportant. “Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth before the evil days come and the years draw near when you will say, ‘I have no delight in them’” is ancient! (Ecclesiastes 12:1)

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 21 February 2010

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