The human body comprises: Water, Carbon, Amino acids, Iron, Calcium and Salts as the main ingredients. When you die, your body has no more value and is usually disposed of; by laying it in a coffin that is deposited into a six-foot hole in the ground. Some may choose to cremate the remains of a loved one and store the ashes in a bottle or jar. There are a few that end up as cadavers in a museum or laboratory for scientific purposes.
If you are a king, you just might be mummified and placed in a pyramid or shrine. The only exception is; to be devoured by the beasts of the earth, the fish of the sea or the fowls of the air. One thing is common in all these cases and that is: the remains somehow return to the earth (one way or the other). It does not matter what status or position you hold in life, sooner or later we all have to die.
“In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return (Genesis 3:19).”
King Solomon the richest of all kings of Israel and also one of the wisest men (if not the wisest, besides Jesus Christ) to have ever lived, concluded that all was vanity of vanity. Many measure their personal worth by their achievements. This covers a wide spectrum including: education (scholarly accomplishments), profession, money, possessions, social status, fame, sport, art and many more.
That is a false ideology and will always inevitably lead to disillusionment and depression. All those who build their hopes and lives on the temporal and fleeting, may find satisfaction for a season, but will ultimately learn the lesson of their fathers before them. Nothing fulfils the inner cravings of the soul apart from the Almighty.
“The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun? One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever. I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I am come to great estate, and have gotten more wisdom than all they that have been before me in Jerusalem: yea, my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge (Ecclesiastes 1:1-4,16).”
Solomon gives a comprehensive list of the activities done under the sun, in which men delight themselves, in the second chapter of Ecclesiastes. There is nothing that you may possess or wish for, that he did not have a thousand times over.
“I thought in my heart, "Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good." But that also proved to be meaningless. I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards. I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees. I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me.
I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired men and women singers, and a harem as well—the delights of the heart of man. I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me. I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my work, and this was the reward for all my labour. Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind;
nothing was gained under the sun (Ecclesiastes 2:1,4-11).”
Another rich and wise man had something to say about the fate of the sons of men. The Holy Bible introduces him as the greatest man among all the people of the East (in his generation). He said, "naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart (Job 1:21).”
The account above does not paint a very pretty picture, but it is the truth. However, there is hope for Christians - the plan of redemption. Without Christ the lot of man is no better than that of beasts. In fact it is a lot worse; “as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” True worth is not measured by how much savings have accrued to one’s bank account. Neither is it determined by equity or profits nor other financial/economic indicators and/or factors. In heaven’s eyes the value of a man appreciates significantly when he appropriates to himself the merits of Christ as his personal Saviour.
Although saints die like all men; God makes a clear distinction through His promise, of a resurrection for all those who believe. Psalm 116:15 says: “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.” Against the names of all who are His (dead and living), are these three words: “Paid in full!“ That means all our debts have been settled, by our heavenly benefactor - THE KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. As Paul put it, we are bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20). The blood of Jesus - more precious than silver and gold (1 Peter 1:18,19). Salvation is priceless!
Those who are saved may find comfort in the Master’s words: “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows (Matthew 10:29-31).”
May the Lord bless His word!
Excerpt from the book Spiritual Counsel & Nuggets: http://www.lulu.com/content/878715