Sunday, September 7, 2008

tomorrow (biblically)

In today's sermon, Kyle made an interesting point about the scarcity of "tomorrows" in the New Testament. Instead, biblical injunctions are typically "today...".

In contrast, too often, we live for and put off until tomorrow.

I decided to look into it a little more and found that tomorrow's biblical heritage is quite dubious:

Exodus 8:10-- Pharaoh puts off repentance until tomorrow (and then breaks that commitment)

Oftentimes, tomorrow is used to give things an extra night-- with the apparent intention that people would reflect on that which will occur the next day. But the Proverbs, the Gospels and the book of James warn against thinking too much about tomorrow...

Proverbs 3:28-- Do not say to your neighbor, "Come back later; I'll give it tomorrow"— when you now have it with you.

Proverbs 27:1-- Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.

Isaiah 56:12-- "Come," each one cries, "let me get wine! Let us drink our fill of beer! And tomorrow will be like today, or even far better."

Matthew 6:34-- Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

James 4:13-14-- Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

In The Screwtape Letters, Lewis intones that the Lord generally wants us to think about the present and eternity-- while we tend to get distracted by the past and the future.


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