Death, The Leveler

Psalm 49:16-17 – “Be not thou afraid when one is made rich, when the glory of his house is increased; For when he dieth he shall carry nothing away: his glory shall not descend after him.”

It is said of Elizabeth I, the gifted but vain Queen of England, that on her deathbed she was in great distress. The doctors could do nothing for her, but she continued to cry piteously, “I will give millions for another inch of time.” Poor unhappy woman! With 10,000 dresses in her wardrobe, a kingdom on which the sun never set, and with servants to do her ever bidding, she had to leave them all, frantically crying for just another “inch of time.” She had enjoyed almost 70 years of life, but like so many others, she had devoted them primarily to wealth, pleasure and the fruits of ambition.

History records that Alexander the Great left orders that when he was carried to the grave, his hands should not be wrapped in the specially treated cloths used by the embalmers of that day, but rather be exposed to view so all men might see that they were empty! Although he had been born ruler of one empire and had become the conqueror of another, he was aware of the fact that in death he could not retain even the smallest portion of his wealth.

Yes, death is the great leveler. But those who are “rich in faith” and have trusted Jesus, although they also leave this world empty-handed, depart to receive an “inheritance that fadeth not away” and the eternal crowns of reward that will never tarnish.

Friend, do you have any such lasting treasure? Or when life ends here, will you possess only those things which cannot be carried away?