"Old Things, New Things"
I watched a man take our old basketball goal away this morning. I recently bought a new version for my grandkids (and for granddad!) to replace the rusty model that received untold numbers of our family's attempts to toss a bag of air through a ring of metal (a.k.a. - the game of basketball simplified).
I recall installing the old goal with its pole more than a quarter century ago. It was new then, of course, and an object of excitement for our kids (and for dad!). The years took their toll, as they always do, and while I hope the man may be able to salvage a few more shots from the goal, I suspect he may just sell the metal for scrap and toss the backboard onto the junk pile. It's a sad thought to contemplate such an ignominious end to an object that blessed our family for a long time.
"The world passeth away" (I John 2:17).
In the present physical creation, everything will meet the same end as our old basketball goal. Because of sin and God's necessary judgment, all matter moves toward death and decay, a deterioration described scientifically in terms of the second law of thermodynamics, and more importantly, described Scripturally as "the wages of sin" (Romans 6:23). Grab hold of anything in the universe, and given enough time, we will find our hands empty. Such deterioration must be viewed in terms of God's grace and mercy as well as His wrath. Indeed, no sinner would ever realize his need for salvation in a world that offered anything of lasting substance, value, and enjoyment. "Before I was afflicted, I went astray. But now I have kept Thy Word" (Psalm 119:67). Nor would any saint continue to consistently walk with the Lord apart from the challenges that maintain and enhance our awareness of need for His presence and working. "Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous. Nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby" (Hebrews 12:11).
If the Lord tarries, our new goal will one day be old. The deterioration is built into the metal and fiberglass, along with the frayed strands of the net. We do well to remember this about everything. God alone and the glories of His spiritual reality abide and increase forevermore. The present creation will ultimately pass through the full measure of its ordained destruction, arising from the ashes of God's purifying fire in newness and perfection (II Peter 3:10-12). Until then, we hold things lightly, and "lay hold on eternal life" tightly (I Timothy 6:12). I thought about such things when saying farewell to an old friend that was new not all that long ago. And I thought even more about the joyful prospects of a new creation in the Lord Jesus Christ that will abide forevermore.
"We look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal."
(II Corinthians 4:18)
Weekly Memory Verse
"Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?"
(I Corinthians 3:16)