Now when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep. (Acts 13:33)
Perhaps you have heard the phrase, “Living in the shadow of death.” The words, of course, are rooted in the words of Psalm 23: “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.” Because of Adam and Eve’s terrible fall in the Garden of Eden, we all die. But for the disciple of Jesus Christ, life is not to be lived in the shadow of death; rather, we are to live in the shadow of life!
Death is not something that is lurking around the corner, like a purse-snatcher hiding in a dark alley, just waiting to jump out and snatch your life away. Death, just like life, is in the hands of the Almighty. There are some who mistakenly believe that the devil has the power to send us to our graves. Not true! The devil only has the power God grants to him. The story of Job makes that crystal clear; twice the Lord God essentially commands Satan, “You may go this far, but no farther” (Job 1:12, 2:6). Satan could only do what God allowed . . . and not one step more.
That truth should be a source of great comfort to you today. Think about it this way: Because God is in control of everything in the universe, including your next breath and beat of your heart, you live—not in the shadow of death, but in the shadow of life. Nothing can touch you and nothing can take you apart from the sovereign will of the One who bought you with His precious blood. No weapon formed can keep you from crossing the finish line of life at the exact moment that God ordained from before the foundation of the world.
This is as true for you as it was for David, as today’s verse reveals. It was not until David had fully “served God’s purpose” that he “fell asleep” and went home to be with his Lord. Death did not sneak up on David and snatch him from this life. Death was delivered to David by God when his work in this world was done. Because you are reading this right now, you can be assured of one thing: God is not finished with you yet! There is more for you to do to expand the cause of His kingdom. And when you have served God’s purpose completely—and not one instant before that is accomplished—then you will enter into your eternal rest.
Remember, you are living in the shadow of life, not death, so live life to its fullest for the good of others and for glory of God. You need not fear, because the One who is in you is infinitely greater than the one who is in this world.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!