Isaiah tells us that the even death will no longer oppress man. Death is swallowed up by God! The enemy that NONE of us can beat.
When God created man, he was able to live FOREVER. He did not know disease or illness. Death was something he only heard about in God’s warning to him. I don’t know if he fully understood what it meant. Just as Noah had never seen rain when God called him to build the ark, Adam and Eve had never seen death when God gave them His warning. Just because they hadn’t seen it didn’t make it any less real, important, or impending.
Satan came along and tricked Eve into thinking that death wasn’t that big of a deal after all. We are not told how long God’s warning about dying kept Adam and Eve in line. It could have been days, weeks, months or even years before Satan wove his flowery speech for Eve. He convinced her that she wouldn’t really die. She would just undergo a change. She would become like God, knowing good and evil.
Eve had never been led astray by any of the other animals. Why should she fear this one? So, she took him at his word and disregarded God’s words. And, in a sense, he told the truth. Adam and Eve didn’t physically die on that day and they gained a new knowledge that they didn’t have before. The immediate death they suffered was spiritual. The MOMENT they broke covenant with God through disobedience, they broke the ‘life-line’ that infused their spirits with His life. They also gained the ability to see their mistakes and their ‘nakedness’ without Him.
They began to physically die from that point. The workmanship God had put into them had them lasting WELL PAST our present ‘expiration’ date. Even their children and grandchildren for MANY generations would continue this long life cycle. But even they did die.
Was the choice of death over life a surprise to God? Nope. Not one bit. He KNEW before the first time He ever spoke the words “Let there be…” And He had a plan ALREADY mapped out on handling this. It wasn’t thrown together after Eve was deceived. It was made in advance. NOTHING has or will EVER change that plan. A portion of it has already been completed. The portion where spiritual life has been restored. This portion also gives us eternal life with God after we die. But He promises more to come. There is coming a day when man NO LONGER DIES. Not my illness or disease. Not by accident or misadventure. Not even by violence. GOD DEFEATS AND SWALLOWS DEATH.
Because I am not God, I cannot promise you that He is speaking specifically of physical death but it makes sense to me for a few reasons.
- When we are born to our earthly parents, our bodies begin to die. They wear out through time, use, abuse, illness and disease. And we are born with a dead spirit. As children of man our spirits are dead as we are “born in sin.”
- When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we are ‘born again’ into life. We KNOW that we will NOT see spiritual death for Jesus promises us eternal life with Him. We won’t die spiritually; EVER.
- Physical death is the only death left for man. It is the ultimate universal equalizer. ALL men taste of it. “For it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment” (Hebrews 9:7). There are only TWO people in all of history who haven’t tasted death. Enoch and Elijah. God took both of them out of this world before they died physically. (I believe they may yet taste physical death, as the two witnesses in Revelation. Who better to testify of God than two men who have spent MANY years with Him.)
- The ONLY other possibility of death being conquered is that which happens at conception. IF those who live on the new earth have physical form and have children, they would no longer be born spiritually dead. They would be born with an eternal spiritual AND physical body. They would be as God originally created man.
A few other things that we see that we will get to enjoy once God completely defeats Satan is food, drink, music and even celebrations. God prepares a feast and celebration for us. It is a celebration of life! And all those in attendance are those who have waited for Him. At that moment shouts of praise, singing and probably even dancing will break out. We will be celebrating God’s final act of conquest; when He swallows death and defeats it for ALL time. NO more physical death and NO more spiritual death!!!
I was just thinking. Does this moment come after He finishes judging the whole earth? Those who have rejected Him will be sent to Hell. Their spirits are dead. Do they all have to physically die before being cast down? We are told that their torment will go on for eternity, without the benefit of being able to die to escape it.
Is Hell swallowed up by God along with death? What happens to those in eternal torment? Are they now hidden completely from man because they have been swallowed up with death? Or are they cast away so far that none can find them or hear them in their torment? When God said He would make a “New Heaven and New Earth” He didn’t say ANYTHING about making a ‘new Hell’.
Father God, there is SO MUCH I don’t understand today. YET I TRUST YOU COMPLETELY! I KNOW without a doubt that EVERY WORD You have spoken will come to pass. It doesn’t matter if I understand the process or can describe the exact outcome. YOU know what it all looks like and NOTHING can stop Your plans.
I want to PRAISE You Father for Your promise of swallowing up death; doing away with it. Death is one thing that breaks hearts and wounds more deeply than just about anything else in this world. I know MANY people who have lost loved ones years ago that are still grieving their loss today. One day YOU will take away that pain! You will remove it from ever touching another person.
I think about death fairly often because of my husband’s health. He has BIG ups and downs in his physical body. Sometimes I wonder if he will be with me another year. Other times I don’t even see death anywhere near him. His mother also speaks a LOT about her age and expects death at any time; even though her health is good. How AMAZING it would be not to have to even think about death ever again! I don’t fear it for either of them as they are secure in Your hands; but still, I will hurt and have many unfamiliar things to walk through without them here with me.
For all those that are hurting right now Father, from the death of someone they love, wrap Your arms around them and give them peace. Fill their hearts and minds with every good memory ever made with that person. Wipe away their tears and bring them joy once again. Joy for the time they had together. Joy for what tomorrow holds too, for You walk with them.
I ache for those who are experiencing death without You. Those whose loved ones never knew You or they themselves deny Your existence. I cannot imagine the depth of their pain! I don’t even know how to help, other than to pray that they too will find life in You.