Verse of the Day – Psalm 39:6
Surely every man walks about like a shadow; surely they busy themselves in vain; he heaps up riches, and does not know who will gather them.

Daily Scripture ReadingPsalm 39

Devotional Thoughts
Remember that our context this week has been Matthew 6 and the Sermon on the Mount. As we have looked at Matt 6:22-23 we have seen how Jesus in teaching about wealth and worry has introduced the contrast of good eyes and bad eyes, of light and darkness. Our application has been to examine our eyes, to see what we look at both physically and in our “mind’s eye” as we imagine and think.

In the teaching we have covered we have seen that the light is always there. The question is whether or not we are seeing it and letting it shine. Good eyes, physically and spiritually, are used to discern, to understand, and to learn. Good eyes let the light in so that our bodies and indeed our lives are full of light. Bad eyes keep the light hidden, obscured, and literally out of sight. The body and our lives then are full of darkness.

In looking back at our immediate context and the discussion about laying up treasures in heaven we are learning that often we are looking at the wrong things because we want the wrong things. Instead of being eternally minded and seeing things from God’s perspective we find that we are driven by our own desire, being consumed with lust and never satisfied. How true is this today? How many of us run ourselves ragged just to make another dollar or two? How many sacrifice the things that are truly important for the sake of temporal comfort, luxury, or indulgence?

Jesus asked what profit it was for a man to gain the whole world and yet lose his soul. There is an honest comparison between the light and the darkness. The light, having the right perspective, knowing and loving Jesus, and walking in the light as He is in the light are things that we should desire and by which we should be motivated. The darkness on the other hand is that ever discontented pursuit of self.

Psalm 39 sheds a little more light on the topic. In this chapter we find David confronting the realities of the frailty of life, the cost and consequence of sin, and the truth about forgiveness. He shines light on the hideous nature of sin. He loathes sin. He wants to flee sin and to be delivered from sin. He knows he is a mere man and that one day he will give an account for the things he has looked upon – the things he has desired and pursued to the neglect of the Word and Ways of God.

In the middle of the chapter we find verse 6, “Surely every man walks about like a shadow; surely they busy themselves in vain; he heaps up riches, and does not know who will gather them.” He has already declared that all life at its best is a vapor, here one minute and gone the next. And yet in the face of this frailty we see men rushing about to collect and consume, to fill storehouses and hoard riches. As if these earthly treasures could give us eternal life.

They busy themselves in vain. Vanity. It is a useless endeavor. It is a task that will have no good reward. And there will never be fulfillment. For men who are consumed with the desire for more, who love the world and the things in the world, who willingly sell their souls and are possessed by their possessions – these men walk around like a shadow.

In this pursuit, in this rat race, we find men and women who indeed are walking around like shadows. For all they are and all they do and all they have, all that is really there is a shadow where their lives are deflecting the light.

The light shines on them as it does on every man. But they are blind. They cannot see the light. They cannot feel the light. They only manage to block the light out so that all that is left is a shadow. An image that signifies only the absence of the light. They cast great darkness all around them.

Have you ever watched two people talking in the distance and you cannot hear them but you see in the course of the conversation that one says something to anger or hurt the other and the reaction is a shadow that falls over their face? A disappointment. A let down.

If we close our eyes to the light and walk in darkness then not only do we hurt those around us, but we also cast a shadow over everything around us. Who wants to live like that? And yet every time we put the pursuit of self before the praise of God, we walk around like a shadow. Every time we chase desire to the neglect of the church we isolate ourselves and set ourselves up for certain failure.

Are the riches of this world worth our soul? If so, in the end, for all the riches and wealth and fame, all that we will have is our shadow…….a reminder of all the times we obscured the light. Interesting then, is it not, that the place of final torment for the lost is a place full of utter darkness.

Today, have you seen the Light of the World? Do you know Jesus? Is He all that you desire? If so, let your light shine! Stay out of the shadows and walk in the light.

Links for Further Study
(links to study each daily topic in more detail if you have the desire and the time)

An Exhortation to Serve the Lord by Edward Griffin
Faith and Sight by John Owen

Bible Reading For Further Study
Psalm 17:8; 23:4; 36:7; 57:1; 91:1
Matthew 4:16; Luke 1:79; James 1:17

Recommended Songs for Worship
The Rock that is Higher than I
Jesus, Lover of My Soul