“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.” Ecclesiastes 9:10
The business of life is to glorify God and to work out our own salvation; all other concerns are subordinate to these: “The time is short; as the tree falls, so it lies,” and where death strikes down, there God lays out, either for mercy or misery. Thus we are reminded of what took place at the Red Sea; if I go in an Israelite, my landing shall be in glory, and I shall rejoice to see all my enemies dead upon the sea-shore; but if I go in an Egyptian, if I be on this side the cloud, on this side the covenant, and go in hardened among the troops of Pharaoh, an inundation of judgment shall overflow my soul for- ever. Or, I may compare death to the sleep of the ten virgins, of whom it is said, “They all slumbered and slept.” We shall all fall into this sleep; if I lie down with the wise, I shall go in with the Bridegroom; but if I sleep with the foolish, without oil in my lamp, without grace in my soul, the gates of mercy will be closed upon me forever. I see, then, that this life is the time wherein I must go forth to meet the Lord; this is the hour wherein I must do my work; and the day wherein I must be judged according to my works is at hand. I know not how soon I may fall into this sleep; therefore, Lord, grant that I may live every day in Your sight, as I desire to appear the last day, in Your presence. O to die in Jesus, that I may forever live with God!
Devotion by Karl Heinrich von Bogatzky (1690—1774)
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