For there is hope for a tree,
When it is cut down, that it will sprout again,
And its shoots will not fail.
Though its roots grow old in the ground
And its stump dies in the dry soil,
At the scent of water it will flourish
And put forth sprigs like a plant.
But man dies and lies prostrate.
Man expires, and where is he?
As water evaporates from the sea,
And a river becomes parched and dried up,
So man lies down and does not rise.
Until the heavens are no longer,
He will not awake nor be aroused out of his sleep.
Job stated that a tree when cut down would sprout again, but that when a man dies he remains dead. I think Job was wrong about man. There are two ways in which a man does “sprout” again. One way is in resurrection. Everyone who dies will be resurrected, some to eternal life if they have trusted in Jesus as their Saviour and some to eternal death if they have rejected Jesus.
Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is,
when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God,
and those who hear will live.
For just as the Father has life in Himself,
even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself;
and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man.
Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming,
in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come forth;
those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life,
those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.
The other way is in the testimony that a person leaves. This might be in writing or recordings, but it is mostly in the way a person lived their life before they died. How we live and talk and relate to people today is the testimony that we leave. How beautiful this “sprout” will be depends on us today.
Romans 12 has some help for us to make our “sprout” beautiful when we are no longer living. These verses will also help us to have a beautiful life now.
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God,
to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God,
which is your spiritual service of worship.
And do not be conformed to this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,
so that you may prove what the will of God is,
that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Let love be without hypocrisy.
Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love;
give preference to one another in honor;
not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit,
serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope,
persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer,
contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.
Be of the same mind toward one another;
do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly.
Do not be wise in your own estimation.
Never pay back evil for evil to anyone.
Respect what is right in the sight of all men.
If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.
Never take your own revenge, beloved,
but leave room for the wrath of God,
for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.
“But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink;
for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
May we live today, so that we don’t have regrets for tomorrow.