"Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you." – John 6:27 NKJV
In his History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, historian Edward Gibbon told of the splendors of Abd al-Rahman, who ruled Spain in the 8th century AD. “He was attended by a guard of 12,000 horses, dressed in absolute splendor.” He was reported to have 6,300 wives, concubines, and eunuchs.
In terms that rivaled Solomon, this man gathered sculptors and artists from all around the world to design buildings overwhelming in their grandeur. Gibbon noted that Abd al-Rahman’s “magnificence” excited “admiration and envy.”
But, looking back at the end of his life, he recounted how he had reigned fifty years “in victory or peace.” On the surface, his life sounded glorious. He was “beloved by [his] subjects, dreaded by [his] enemies, and respected by [his] allies.” He had no wants, and he accumulated limitless riches, power, and pleasures.
Yet it all seemed empty. Lacking fulfillment, he realized he could point to only fourteen days in which he experienced “pure and genuine happiness.” He even provided his own conclusion: “O man! Place not thy confidence in this present world!”
Like Abd al-Rahman, we can focus on the pleasures of this world. But, as he discovered, we will find none of these last.
Remember not to “labor for the food which perishes.” But seek first God’s kingdom, trusting Him to provide your needs (Matthew 6:33). Make Jesus your Lord. And focus on “the food which endures to everlasting life.”
PrayerFather, help me to seek first Your Kingdom. Please give me the food that endures to everlasting life. Thank You. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Extended ReadingJohn 6