Job 9:25, 26
Now my days are swifter than a post: they flee away, they see no good.…
Job compares his days to what is swiftest-on earth, the running messenger; in the sea, the boat of reeds; in the air, the eagle darting down on its prey. We must not look for a difference in the suggestiveness of these several illustrations. Gathered from every region of existence, they give great emphasis to the one significant fact of the brevity of life.
I. OUR DAYS ARE SWIFT IN COMPARISON WITH NATURE. The course of nature moves on slowly. Geology tells of innumerable vast ages of antiquity. Evolution presupposes an even longer stretch of time. By the side of the gradual movements of nature, our little days are swift and brief. Each man's life registers but a moment on the great dial of time. The old world rolls on, while we children of a day come and go in a rapid march of succeeding generations.
II. OUR DAYS ARE SWIFT IN RELATION TO OUR DESIRES. We crave for long experience. Extinction of being is a horror to us. There are within us great instincts of immortality. Thus, while we live our little earthly day, we are reaching forward to God's great eternity. We cannot be satisfied with an ephemeral existence.
III. OUR DAYS ARE SWIFT IN REGARD TO OUR POWERS. It takes us long to train those powers. Half a lifetime is not enough to perfect them. But before they are perfected, the shadows begin to lengthen and the melancholy afternoon is upon us. Surely, if God has given us faculties that take so long to develop, and that seem capable of great achievements if only they had full scope, it is sad that they should begin to wither as soon as they have reached maturity.
IV. OUR DAYS ARE SWIFT IN CONNECTION WITH OUR DUTIES. There is so much to be done and so little time to do it in. Our tasks grow upon us, and our opportunities are cramped and cut short. Do we not all plan out more work than we can ever accomplish? Thus we labour with a sad consciousness that we can never overtake our intentions.
V. OUR DAYS ARE SWIFT BY THE, SIDE OF OUR EXPECTATIONS. A child sees eternity before him. In his estimation, one year - a whole year - is a vast epoch. Even in later youth time seems to be an abundant commodity. There is little need to economize it, for have we not enough and to spare? Presently we are surprised to see how quickly its unheeded moments are slipping away from us. Every year it goes faster, till the silent stream has become a headlong torrent, and days fly past us with terrible speed.
VI. OUR DAYS ARE SWIFT IN THE LIGHT OF ETERNITY. Here is the explanation of the whole mystery. We are not creatures of a day, although our earthly life is so short. God has given us a spark of his own immortality. In view of that the largest earthly life is a fleeting shadow. Yet the ample leisure of eternity must not make us careless of the work of the day, for this day will never return. How valuable is time in the outer world! The messenger runs with swiftest paces, the little skiff darts about on the waters, the fierce eagle drops on its prey like a thunderbolt. Though eternity is long, let us hasten to use our glorious prospects as an inspiration for a like eagerness in making the most of our brief earthly days. - W.F.A.
Parallel VersesKJV: Now my days are swifter than a post: they flee away, they see no good.