Prepared by Dr. John E. Marshall
Rom. 13:11a (Holman) “Besides this, knowing the time, . . .”
Like most gifted people, Paul was haunted by the shortness of time. He could always hear “time’s winged chariot hurrying near” (Andrew Marvell).
Minutes never cease ticking themselves into the past. Each flying moment holds another by the heel. Life is gone before we know it. Waves of an ocean continue to return, and raindrops fall again, but moments never return. We can recall some things, but not the minute just passed by. If wasted, it cannot be retrieved. If used wisely, it cannot be regretted.
At age 130, Jacob called his years “few” (GN 47:9). In Psalm 90, Moses compared us to grass that flourishes in the morning, but in the evening is cast down. He said our lives pass quickly, and we fly away. James (4:14) described our lives as a vapor that appears for a little time, and then vanishes. The first chapters of Chronicles are a huge cemetery. More are buried in St. Louis than live there.
Life is short, but this does not mean this world of time is insignificant. We live in a sphere of critical importance. Compared with eternity, time is but a grain of sand on the seashore, yet it is the realm of creation and salvation. This world is the battlefield of good and evil. Therefore, we cannot afford the luxury of sleeping.
Rom. 13:11b “. . .it