“Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the LORD’s sight; so the LORD put him to death.” 1 Ch 2:3
Er, Judah’s first born, died young because he was wicked in the sight of the Lord. Thus the only thing we know about this man was his short name, and his life that was even shorter than his name.
The length of his life mattered little compared to how he was depicted. He was wicked. He could have lived a full and long life, but it still wouldn’t have changed how he was defined. Being wicked was what the man was and dying young was more a blessing, really. If the wicked linger in the flesh far too long, their wickedness will only increase.
Instead of counting down the days and years we still have on earth, we should count how many more good things we can we still do in the remaining years. The Lord cares more about quality than quantity as far as our life on earth is concerned.
Er was wicked, but he probably wasn’t any more wicked than many others, yet he was taken away prematurely. There were some who might have found favor in the Lord’s sight, yet they died young just the same. Enoch was taken away several hundred years before his peers, not for his wickedness, but for his righteousness.
I suppose goodness is defined by whether we walk with the Lord or not. Enoch was the epitome of goodness. The Lord could have left Er alone, or he could have taken him away before his time. What matters the most was how his life was portrayed. He was wicked, and his premature death might not have been caused by wickedness, even though it appeared to be so.
Longevity of the wicked may be their punishment, not a blessing. The greater they sin in the flesh, the more severe their penalty will be.
Counting down the years has become my habit as I age, which is rather depressing actually. I don’t think my wife does the calculation all that much, since she seems to be occupied by what she must do, both for her work at school and her ministry. Much to my envy, her days are mainly composed of doing good things and fulfilling her calling, and I, with ample amount of time at my disposal, squander it by counting down my earthly days and becoming despondent.
People who are busy working and doing good don’t have the time or leisure to be moaning and groaning about their future and what may transpire tomorrow. I guess it’s plausible to assume that the wicked worry a lot more about their tomorrows than the righteous.
Self-occupation is a sure sign of wickedness. Er might not have done anything overtly wicked; perhaps his body was just full of exposed nerves and he became so sensitive about every feeling that he might have had, making him become overly temperamental and depressed, which, I gather, caused him to die young.
“For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.” It’s a good idea for us to spend a few moments mediating on the Lord’s words before we start the day.