Welp! Today is the day before Tax Day!
Did you know that the moment in time when taxes for God’s children became certain is recorded in scripture?:
Then all the leaders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah. They told him, “You’re old, and your sons aren’t following your example. Now appoint a king to judge us so that we will be like all the other nations.” But Samuel considered it wrong for them to request a king to judge them. So Samuel prayed to the LORD. The LORD told Samuel, “Listen to everything the people are saying to you. They haven’t rejected you; they’ve rejected me. They’re doing just what they’ve done since I took them out of Egypt–leaving me and serving other gods. Listen to them now, but be sure to warn them and tell them about the rights of a king.” Then Samuel told the people who had asked him for a king everything the LORD had said. Samuel said, “These are the rights of a king: He will draft your sons, make them serve on his chariots and horses, and make them run ahead of his chariots. He will appoint them to be his officers over 1,000 or over 50 soldiers, to plow his ground and harvest his crops, and to make weapons and equipment for his chariots. He will take your daughters and have them make perfumes, cook, and bake. He will take the best of your fields, vineyards, and olive orchards and give them to his officials. He will take a tenth of your grain and wine and give it to his aids and officials. He will take your male and female slaves, your best cattle, and your donkeys for his own use. He will take a tenth of your flocks. In addition, you will be his servants. “When that day comes, you will cry out because of the king whom you have chosen for yourselves. The LORD will not answer you when that day comes.” But the people refused to listen to Samuel. They said, “No, we want a king! Then we, too, will be like all the other nations. Our king will judge us, lead us out [to war], and fight our battles.” When Samuel heard everything the people had to say, he reported it privately to the LORD. The LORD told him, “Listen to them, and give them a king.” 1 Samuel 8: 4-22
really don’t love that saying…
Nothing can be certain except death and taxes!
From a website I found this information about the above quote:
A rather fatalistic and sardonic proverb. It draws on the actual inevitability of death to highlight the difficulty in avoiding the burden of taxes.
Several famous authors have uttered lines to this effect. The first was Daniel Defoe, in The Political History of the Devil, 1726:
“Things as certain as death and taxes, can be more firmly believed.”
Benjamin Franklin (1706-90) used the form we are currently more familiar with, in a letter to Jean-Baptiste Leroy, 1789, which was re-printed in The Works of Benjamin Franklin, 1817:
“‘In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”
Another thought on the theme of death and taxes is Margaret Mitchell’s line from her book Gone With the Wind, 1936:
“Death, taxes and childbirth! There’s never any convenient time for any of them.”
Reminds me of a conversation I had with my son the other day as we were watching something that prompted a discussion about certain death for everyone, but especially death for the Christian. I mentioned that death is a gift for those who have been given the gift of faith, because Jesus has gained eternal life for everybody, and if we didn’t die we would have to live in this sinful body on this sinful earth forever! YUK!
Better is the day of death than the day of birth. Ecc 7:1
To which my son said, “That’s a gift I don’t want to be opening for a looooong time! And preferably it comes on Easter and not Christmas! I’d rather open it as an Easter gift rather than a Christmas gift!”
There are many deeper spiritual mysteries in that one statement that I will spend time pondering later, but it reminds me of a deeper mysterious truth hidden in the heart of the Holy Scriptures…
Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. Psalm 115:16
This world is fixated on
taxes death; from war to abortion touted as women’s rights (since when do women have the right to murder) to euthanasia to the destroying of marriage and family, to the death-filled words of this upcoming election media campaign…this world loves and embraces death. We are surrounded by it.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; John 10:10a
(Maybe that is a gift in and of itself that points to a better way.)
Jesus said, “I am the way…I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10b
So why are we so afraid to die?
There is no fear in love (God is love). But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18
The only way to deal with our fear of death is to ignore it…
…until the inevitable.
Or seek wisdom and understanding of it.
The LORD has taken away your punishment, he has turned back your enemy. The LORD, the King of Israel, is with you; never again will you fear any harm. Zeph 3:15
And how has he done this?
But he (Jesus) was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5
So there is something more certain than death and taxes?
And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 2 Peter 1:19
Peter should know. He saw Jesus with his own eyes. He saw Jesus’ death on the cross, and he witnessed Jesus in His resurrected form. And that same Jesus told Peter how he was going to die, and the great mystery that Peter’s death would certainly glorify God!
I can guarantee this truth: When you were young, you would get ready to go where you wanted. But when you’re old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will get you ready to take you where you don’t want to go.” Jesus said this to show by what kind of death Peter would bring glory to God. After saying this, Jesus told Peter, “Follow me!” John 21:18-19
There is no need to fear taxes or death for our eternal life is certain in Christ Jesus!
Since all of these sons and daughters have flesh and blood, Jesus took on flesh and blood to be like them. He did this so that by dying he would destroy the one who had power over death (that is, the devil). In this way he would free those who were slaves all their lives because they were afraid of dying. Hebrews 2:14-15
Abba Father, Thank you that you died for me so that I may live for you. May my life AND my death bring glory to you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.