” For we will surely die and become like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. Yet God does not take away a life; but He devises means, so that His banished ones are not expelled from Him”. (2 Samuel ch.14 vs.14.)
These are words from the Holy Bible, told by a wise woman from Tekoa to King David. There’s a story behind this statement which can be seen in 2 Samuel chapter 13, which can be summarised in a nutshell as follows. King David had a beautiful daughter by name Tamar. Her step – brother Amnon raped her and left her distraught. Her own brother Absalom comes to know about the insult meted out to his sister and takes revenge on Amnon and murders him. After this, Absalom fled from his father David and went to a far away place called Geshur, and lived there for three years. King David longed to see his son , but his duty as the king of Israel who was responsible to carry out the punishment for the crime Absalom had done prevents him from calling him back to his home.
Joab, the Commander- in- chief of King David understands the pain his master is undergoing as a father longing for his son. He sent his men to a place called Tekoa and brings a wise woman ( whose name is not given) from there to the king’s palace. She enacts a drama in front of the king and tells him that she’s a widow who had two sons ; and that they fought with each other in their field and one killed the other. Now, her family members and her village people wants to punish her only living son by executing him as per the law of the land , for the crime he had committed. Since there’s no one else to look after her, she pleads to the king for remission of the punishment , using his authority as the king of the land. King David has compassion on her and promises her that he would give orders to protect her son from the punishment that is due on him.Having won a favourable verdict from the king for her son’s life, she then turns to King David and asks him, why can’t he show the same compassion to his own son Absalom. It is then she tells the king the above quoted philosophical words pregnant with eternal truth.
Through these words of wisdom, God wants to remind mankind about the nothingness of this life. The wise woman of Tekoa is reminding us that we all will surely die. There’s no exception. The Bible teaches us that ‘ death is the end of all men’ ( Ecclesiastes 7:2). Here, the wise woman is comparing human life to water in a jar. She says that like water once spilled on the ground cannot be gathered and put back again, so is human life. Once life or the soul leaves the body it cannot be put back again. Just as the water goes down into the earth and becomes an integral part of the soil, so does the dead body that is buried disintegrates and becomes an integral part of the earth .What a philosophical thought !.
Solomon ,the wise king and teacher also sounds similar when he says:- ” Remember your creator before the silver cord is loosed, or golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher shattered at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the well. Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.”( Ecclesiastes 12:6-7).
The Bible teaches us that ” The days of our lives are seventy years; and if by reason of strength they are eighty years, yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off and we fly away”.(Psalms 90: 10). Also, we are reminded in Psalms 103:15-16, that ” As for man, his days are like grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes. For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and it’s place remembers it no more”.
Friends, when our life is so short and unpredictable , where is the time for anger and fight with our own family members, friends and neighbours?. Let’s forgive and forget and have a heart for reconciliation. Just a phone call from our side can repair and reunite a broken cord. May be a word of sorry can reunite many hearts. Death may come uninvited any time. So let’s not postpone that long overdue visit to our aged parents, or brothers/ sisters, or compromise our time with our family and children for the sake of our work.
I happened to read about a firm in S.Korea that offers the service of ‘ Free funerals for the living’. According to the company officials, ” the simulated death ceremonies are meant to give the participants a truthful sense of their lives, inspire gratitude, and aid forgiveness and reconnection among family and friends.” It is said that since it opened in 2012, more than 25,000 people – from teenagers to retirees- have participated in mass ” living funeral” services, hoping to improve their lives .
Last but not the least, another truth the wise woman from Tekoa is telling us is that” God does not take away a life; but He devises means, so that His banished ones are not expelled from Him.” Through these words, we are reminded that we , the human race, are by virtue of our sins are a banished lot from the presence of the Holy God . But , the Bible teaches us that “the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him” ( Psalms 103:17); and that ” Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not” ( Lamentations 3:22). Moreover, God says that He has no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but instead God wants the wicked to turn from his evil ways and live.(Ezekiel 33:11).
It is with this intention of salvation for mankind that the Almighty God became flesh in the human body as Jesus and died on the cross and rose again from the dead so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. The Bible says that ” For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life”. ( John3:16).
” How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation”.(Hebrews 2:3).
May these thoughts help us to reconcile with our loved ones and ensure an everlasting eternal life in heaven by accepting the offer of salvation through Jesus Christ. God bless you.