Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.
Here is how the New Living Translation renders the verse:
Don’t brag about tomorrow,
since you don’t know what the day will bring.
This verse brings to mind a similar kind of reproof and correction of such presumptuous thinking found in James 4:13-16 (NLT)
13 Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” 14 How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. 15 What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” 16 Otherwise you are boasting about your own pretentious plans, and all such boasting is evil.
This particular passage found its way into an epigraph or introduction to a poem inspired in part by the commonly used expression “If the Lord tarries and if the Lord will.” The poem was originally composed following my disappointment when Jesus Christ had not returned at the time when I thought that he would:
“If the Lord tarries. . .”
“If the Lord tarries” and “If the Lord will”:
May these phrases ever be my preface.
With each decision may I learn to be still
And never presume to know your desire.
Though I may read your Word and apply
It diligently to my heart to do
All you ask of me, some secrets are not
Mine to know. Once more you tell me to watch,
To prepare my heart and to look above.
Whether I understand or misconstrue,
I cannot deny I have tasted your love.
God is faithful and His word is true.
In my heart the hope continues to burn
As I yearn even more for Christ’s return.
In a previous blog entry I commented on “Some things I know, some things I don’t know, and some things only God knows.” In light of the today’s discussion, I am re-posting this section:
Some things I don’t know. . .
I recall the lyrics to one of my all-time favorite Gospel songs “I don’t know about tomorrow.” This song was especially meaningful because it was a song that my late sister-in-law, Phyllis Warren Murdock sang. Click here to access a blog entry that pays tribute to Phyllis and offers a recording of the song that she sang so beautifully.
Without question, I don’t know the answers to many of life’s enigmas that seem to defy the human mind. Quite honestly, I don’t know the answers to the questions that God asked Job. Some things are not mine to know . . . if God doesn’t tell me in the Word or by revelation, then I just don’t know
Romans 11:33-34 reminds us of this truth:
33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counselor?
I recall the lyrics to the hymn “I Know Whom I Have Believed” which states a series of things that the hymn writer does not know:
I know not why God’s wondrous grace
To me He hath made known,
Nor why, unworthy, Christ in love
Redeemed me for His own.
The chorus of the familiar hymn resounds with this assurance found in 2 Timothy 1:12:
But “I know whom I have believed
And am persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I’ve committed
Unto Him against that day.”
The last verse brings to mind something that neither I nor anyone else knows:
I know not when my Lord may come,
At night or noon-day fair,
Nor if I’ll walk the vale with Him,
Or “meet Him in the air.”
Listen to the “I Know Whom I Have Believed” which actually responds to what I know as well as what I do not know: