A Return to the Dust

Psalm 90:3

Sooner or later we are going to die. This is so because it pleases God to reach down and cause it to happen. Through Moses He declares in Psalm 90:3, "Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men." And by return he means return to the dust out of which man was created.

A versification of Psalm 39:4, 5 states that truth this way (PRC Psalter):

My end, Lord, make me know.
My days, how soon they fail;
And to my thoughtful spirit show
How weak I am and frail.
To Thy eternal thought
My days are but a span;
To Thee my years appear as naught,
A breath at best is man.

We do well to take note of the fact that God commands death to overtake us. Men will at times pray God to prevent death that threatens a loved one. But the correct view is that rather than overruling death, God sends it and commands it to come to us. Death is not something against which He must work. It is a tool with which He works. And as the sovereign God that He is, He has a right to send it to destroy our earthly bodies. He had that right before we fell. Be surely has it now since we fell into sin. He told us that the day we sinned we would die. And as the holy, sovereign God He may return us to the dust.

But always we should look at all God's works in the light of the death of His own Son, Who died as our covenant Head and representative. The souls of those not chosen in Him are plunged into everlasting torment. What happens to their bodies at the moment of death is minor compared with what happens when Christ returns. But those for whose sins Christ died have, the moment that their bodies enter death, in their souls everlasting blessedness and joy with Christ.

They can expect their bodies to be raised and brought back to life. This time it will be a body more glorious than Adam's was. With that in mind God says to the believer's bodies, "Return to the dust!" For He intends to say to it pretty soon, "Be glorified with the glory of My Son!"

Read: Ecclesiastes 12
Psalter versification: #105:4, 5
(Words and Music of the Psalter)

Meditations on the Heidelberg Catechism

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Song for Meditation: Psalter #55
Why not sing along??

Through the Bible in One Year
Read today:

Jeremiah 31:27-40 ; Jeremiah 32 ;
1 Timothy 3:1-16
Psalm 88:1-18
Proverbs 25:20-22
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Quote for Reflection:

Psalm 73:26 - "Moreover, we believe and teach that the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, was from all eternity predestinated and foreordained of the Father to be the Saviour of the world. And we believe that he was begotten, not only then, when he took flesh of the Virgin Mary, nor yet a little before the foundations of the world were laid; but before all eternity, and that of the Father after an unspeakable manner." Second Helvetic Confession "The pleasures of being forgiven are as superior to the pleasures of an unforgiven man as heaven is higher than hell." ~ Robert M. M'Cheyne

Last modified on 13 October 2015

Additional Info

  • Date: 18-October
Heys, John A.

Rev. John A. Heys was born on March 16, 1910 in Grand Rapids, MI. He was ordained and installed into the ministry at Hope, Walker, MI in 1941.  He later served at Hull, Iowa beginning in 1955.  In 1959 he accepted the call to serve the South Holland, IL Protestant Reformed Church.  He received and accepted the call to Holland, Michigan Protestant Reformed Church in 1967.  He retired from the active ministry in 1980.  He entered into glory on February 16, 1998.

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