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Bible verses about Mortality
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Genesis 2:7   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

We should note that this verse does not say man has a soul, but that he is one. This word in Hebrew, nephesh, is better rendered as "creature" or as the New King James does, "being." Nephesh is also used for animals (Genesis 1:20), dead bodies (Numbers 9:6), even dying (Job 11:20; Jeremiah 15:9).

William Gray
Taking It Through the Grave


 

Psalm 90:1-4   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Perhaps only Isaiah 40 can compare with this psalm in presenting God's grandeur and eternity in contrast to our frailty and mortality. Moses' point, however, is that God's eternity is the answer to our problem with time.

One might think that we hardly need to be reminded of this. But when the misconception that we are already immortal ("You shall not surely die") is combined with our innate and powerful proclivity toward abusing time, it is urgently necessary that God emphasize this on occasion.

God often underscores the brevity of our lives. Job laments: "Now my days are swifter than a runner; they flee away, they see no good. They pass by like swift ships, like an eagle swooping on its prey" (Job 9:25-26). In Psalm 39:4-5, David prays:

LORD, make me to know my end, and what is the measure of my days, that I may know how frail I am. Indeed, you have made my days as handbreadths, and my age is as nothing before You; certainly every man at his best state is but vapor. Selah.

And finally Asaph writes, "For He remembered that they were but flesh, a breath that passes away and does not come again" (Psalm 78:39).

The rapid passage of time is something we need to be serious about. We cannot live as though there is no day of reckoning because judgment is now upon the household of God (I Peter 4:17).

John W. Ritenbaugh
Simplify Your Life!


 

Psalm 90:1-10   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Psalm 90 gives us probably the best biblical perspective of time. This psalm, the only one attributed to Moses, compares how man and God view time and life. His conclusion, of course, is that man and God look at time from entirely different perspectives. It is this difference in point of view that makes a huge difference in how we conduct our lives.

Moses begins by asserting that God is everlasting and almighty (verses 1-2). He can destroy men's lives, and a thousand years later, He resurrects them to life with a word (verses 3-4)! Thousands of years can pass, and God can still bring people back from the dead! Man has no power over death, but God can, has, and will overcome time and death by the power of the resurrection. To God, these thousands of years pass swiftly "like yesterday . . . like a watch in the night."

This is far different from man's point of view. "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" (verse 10). Ethan, the psalmist of Psalm 89:47-48, echoes this in his plea to God:

Remember how short my time is; for what futility have You created all the children of men? What man can live and not see death? Can he deliver his life from the power of the grave? Selah.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Time and Life


 

Psalm 90:12   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

The phrase "number our days" expresses the thought of putting in order, arranging the use of, or prioritizing time because the end of one's life is fast approaching. Moses wanted us to remember that our remaining number of days grows smaller each day.

He reminds us because we rarely make a conscious relationship between sin and our mortality. We are so busy living for the moment that we fail to see a connection between our conduct and our finite lifespan. Moses appeals for help that we might be wise and live by faith. Proverbs 4:5-6 urges us, "Get wisdom! Get understanding! Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth. Do not forsake her, and she will preserve you." Because it bears so profoundly upon our accountability to God, using time properly may be the greatest of wisdom.

Romans 13:11-12 carries this thought down to our day, expressing the urgency of our situation:

And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Simplify Your Life!


 

Ecclesiastes 9:2-3   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Both the righteous and the wicked—even the animals!—go to the same place at death. All physical creatures are composed of dust and return to dust again. These scriptures make it abundantly clear that no one goes to either heaven or hell at death, and further, no one who is dead has the capacity to feel joy or pain.

Earl L. Henn (1934-1997)
Basic Doctrines: The Fate of the Wicked


 

 




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