You return man to dust and say, “Return, O children of man!” For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night. (Psalm 90:3–4 (ESV))
Today’s big question: where did we come from, and where are we going?
Reality check 2: Life is short and then comes judgment.
Our passage today brings us to a sobering truth. We are going to return to dust. Notice the words. We are not going to become dust; we are going to return to dust.
“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being” (Genesis 2:7). Here, we see the fallacy of atheism. How can life come from non-life? Nothing comes from nothing. The all-powerful, self-existent, eternal God breathed life into us. He formed us from the matter He had originally created. He gives all life and breath—a humbling thought.
The newly created world, especially the Garden of Eden, must have been a glorious place displaying God’s own perfect character. Our sinful actions ruined it, and God’s judgment was exactly as He had warned: “In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19).
Man was created from dust, although in our originally created perfect condition, we were not meant to return to it. The fact every human returns to dust is a reminder of our sinful condition and the holy justice of the Creator. Human life is fickle and fleeting. We return to dust, our soul lives on, and then we face judgment (Hebrews 9:27).
Some might revel in the thought of living a long time. Young people tell me they will worry about God when they get old. What a reckless statement in light of a timeless God who returns us to dust. Even Methuselah’s life of nearly 1,000 years was just like a “watch in the night” for God. Then, he returned to dust.
Many use their time on earth to suppress their responsibility toward our Creator and attempt to live as if He doesn’t exist, but they will have no ability to suppress this reality when suffering eternal judgment. Some seek to build empires to hand on to their children—children who will also return to dust.
Everyone who is born dies. One day, we will all face the immortal God—the creatures in the presence of the Creator. Facing the Creator is inevitable. Are you ready to meet Him?
Today’s big idea: we live; we die; we face God.
What to pray: ask God to help you be sure you are ready to meet Him.