Well, I took all this in and thought it through, inside and out. Here's what I understood: The good, the wise, and all that they do are in God's hands - but, day by day, whether it's love or hate they're dealing with, they don't know.
It's one fate for everybody - righteous and wicked, good people, bad people, the nice and the nasty, worshipers and non-worshipers, committed and uncommitted.
I find this outrageous - the worst thing about living on this earth - that everyone's lumped together in one fate. Is it any wonder that so many people are obsessed with evil? Is it any wonder that people go crazy right and left? Life leads to death. That's it.
Still, anyone selected out for life has hope, for, as they say, "A living dog is better than a dead lion."
The living at least know something, even if it's only that they're going to die. But the dead know nothing and get nothing. They're a minus that no one remembers.
Their loves, their hates, yes, even their dreams, are long gone. There's not a trace of them left in the affairs of this earth.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)