(The reason the Lord asks us to look around us is for us
to see how eternal and enduring are the heavens and the earth,
how firm and constant and unending they appear.)
the heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment
(Even though they seem solid and secure enough to last forever,
and, indeed, have actually existed for millennia,
even these mighty bodies will melt away, as transient and fleeting as smoke
and as undesired and undesirable as worn out and discarded clothing.
The Hebrew meaning for the phrase "vanish like smoke"
is used no where else in the Bible and underscores
the truth of the extraordinary temporary nature
of even what seems to us as everlasting when compared to eternity.)
and its inhabitants die like flies.
(Even the race of unregenerate and redeemed men on earth
will come to their end like a swarm of gnats.
While the earth and the heavens will actually disappear,
rebellious mankind doesn't just vanish; rather, much like a swarm of flies,
man tragically and foolishly dies to God's merciful and gracious intervention.)
But My salvation will last forever, My righteousness will never fail.
(To give us a concrete contrast to the seeming eternal forever
of the earth and heavens and of man himself,
the Lord points us to His gift of salvation to mankind and to His righteous character,
both, in reality, truly eternal and everlasting and unchanging.
The only lasting element, the only lasting being, is God Himself,
along with His gift of salvation given to us out of His righteousness,
which He lovingly and ungrudgingly bestows on us today!)May the Lord richly bless you this day!
In Christ's love,
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