Friday, June 26, 2009

The Great Equalizer

The world's obsession with celebrity and fame has been evident this week as tributes have been paid to three icons of the entertainment industry whose earthly lives have come to an end: Ed McMahon. Farrah Fawcett. Michael Jackson.

Matthew 7 reminds us not to judge them or the condition of their hearts at the time of their deaths, yet the same chapter says that by their fruit you will recognize them.

One thing always strikes me in situations such as this. And that is the fact that for all of the fame, fortune, and frenzy surrounding them, they were incapable of stopping death. They took nothing with them. And if the pleasures of this world were all they lived for, then their life was for naught and their deaths are heartbreaking tragedies far beyond what those who worship our American idols even begin to comprehend.

10 For all can see that wise men die;
the foolish and the senseless alike perish
and leave their wealth to others.

11 Their tombs will remain their houses forever,
their dwellings for endless generations,
though they had named lands after themselves.

12 But man, despite his riches, does not endure;
he is like the beasts that perish.

* * * * *

16 Do not be overawed when a man grows rich,
when the splendor of his house increases;

17 for he will take nothing with him when he dies,
his splendor will not descend with him.

18 Though while he lived he counted himself blessed—
and men praise you when you prosper-

19 he will join the generation of his fathers,
who will never see the light of life .

20 A man who has riches without understanding
is like the beasts that perish.

Psalm 49:10-12, 16-20

I was not a fan of any of these three icons. Yet I have grieved for them. And I have grieved for our world that blithely states "He/she is in a better place" and "Rest in peace" as their accomplishments are lauded, ignoring the Truth of the Gospel and disregarding the state of the eternal soul.

Help us, O God our Savior, for the glory of Your Name; deliver us and forgive our sins for Your Name's sake. Psalm 79:9


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sara said...

I was thinking the same thing when I heard of MJ's death.

bp said...

Great post. I like the verses you included

Xandra@Heart-of-Service said...

The verses you posted really hit the nail on the head. The bottom line if you will...


Robin Lambright said...

Well said and so very true!

I think we are all in for a good dose of MJ overload where the media is concerned...


JulieM said...

Most excellent post! Thanks for including the Scriptures. So glad I surfed over to read them :)

Kelly said...

So sad for those who don't know Christ.

Kim said...

A-men, Linda!! Lady, you are shining a bright gospel light in this post! Love ya!

Anonymous said...

Right on, Linda!!! What an accurate and succinct post.

Skoots1moM said...

His Word doesn't leave a lot to the imagination, does it?!
--leave wealth to others
--named lands after themselves
--does not endure
--take nothing with him
--splendor will not descend (note it doesn't say 'ascend')

--never see the light of life
--riches without understanding
An example of WHAT NOT to strive for during this life.
Well stated
I often get frustrated with 'well knowns' being put on even higher pedestals once they are gone and truth is LOST in all the embellishing.

Mel said...

you said it much better than I!!!

Cindy said...

You've expressed my thoughts exactly.

Christmas with CWG said...

Excellent point. One of my sons' friends said, "Man, I thought MJ would live forever." To which I replied, "Unfortunately, too many people think the same thing." Spiritual issues aside, I think there are many lessons to be learned in examining both of yesterday's losses. Quiet dignity vs vain excess. Embracing mortality vs attempts to transcend it.

Judith Miller said...

Great post, Linda. An excellent reminder that we need to keep our focus on Jesus and the eternal rather than the immediate gratification the world offers in its place. Life is short and there's much to accomplish.

Rebecca LuElla Miller said...

Wow, Linda, you were right. We were thinking along the same lines exactly.

Thanks for stopping by A Christian Worldview of Fiction and leaving your comment.


2nd Cup of Coffee said...

I've been thinking a lot about this lately. I'm not a fan in the sense that some have been, but for some reason I do feel sad. We are all so undeserving of his mercy, and I am so glad He is all-knowing and just.

Rebecca said...

I appreciate (and share) your perspective. There is a certain "political correctness" even within Christian circles. Truth must still be spoken in love, and I think you have done that very well. Thank you.