Some people die of cancer and others of heart attacks. Some are killed in an automobile accident or plane crash. Or it may be a fire or storm, to mention only a few possibilities. But we do well to remember that all these are secondary causes. They are the way in which God brings death because of the primary reason, namely sin, which moves God to anger and wrath. Listen to what He says through Moses in Psalm 90:7-9: "For we are consumed by Thine anger, and by Thy wrath are we troubled. Thou hast set our iniquities before Thee, our secret sins in the light of Thy countenance. For all our days are passed away in Thy wrath; we spend our years as a tale that is told."
To help us commit this truth to memory, sing this versification (PRC Psalter):
Man in Thy anger is consumed,
And unto grief and sorrow doomed;
Before Thy clear and searching sight
Our secret sins are brought to light.
Beneath Thy wrath we pine and die,
Our life expiring with a sigh.
Let us bear that in mind. Not only is death, but all our sicknesses and diseases, all our losses and tears, are here because of sin. Through them God is speaking to us.
Yes, He loves us, and His wrath and anger do not stem from hatred towards those whom He chose in Christ. Them He loves. We ought to keep two truths in mind. In His grace He uses these to bring us out from under the curse and into the new Jerusalem with all His blessings and glory.
What is more, in all these miseries and sorrows here below He in love is teaching us. With death and all that leads up to it, He is chastening His people. He chastens us to bring us out of our sinful walk to a walk of righteousness, Hebrews 12:9-11. What is more, this suffering and death, which is punishment in the sense of chastisement, not only makes us aware of what we deserve, but also how undeserving we are of His blessings. All these underscore the truth that we are saved by grace and not by our works. They help to make us appreciate Christ's suffering and death in our stead.
Read: Hebrews 12:1-13
Psalter versification: #245:4
(Words and Music of the Psalter)
Meditations on the Heidelberg Catechism
Song for Meditation: Psalter #76
Why not sing along??
Through the Bible in One Year
Jeremiah 35 ; Jeremiah 36:1-32
1 Timothy 5:1-25
Quote for Reflection:
"One great reason of the carnal security into which we fall, is our not considering how singularly we were fashioned at first by our Divine Maker." ~ John Calvin