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“But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task. Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end.”      Psalm 73: 16                                       

...........then I discerned their end.


In many areas of life the “end” is not a climax but a whimper. For that reason the “end” is avoided – it’s not something to be factored into the plan.


Powerful men in our generation here in Jersey hate (as we all do) to think about the weakness of body and mind that may well find them in a nursing home for years with little ability to do or influence anything anymore – despite significant remaining wealth.


Young ladies in Jersey, according to the marriage and birth statistics, do not factor into their present decisions about “love” and “having children” the outcome – the end - of the absence of a permanent, real, contractual commitment from a husband - the likelihood of having to “go-it-alone” – in the end.


The Zero/Ten tax structure does not seem to have had factored into it the “end” of a policy that derives no tax revenues from any and every new industry (other than the sole finance industry) that might be good for Jersey and its people. The end might well be a declined finance industry and no new industries because the absence of tax revenue from new industries has discouraged their acceptance. Maybe, in the “end” little money for hospitals and schools in a future generation.


Of recent years this short-term-ism has been a feature of the West. And some have seen it and pointed it out.


The spiritual wisdom of the Scriptures, of the Bible, however, pre-dates all such thoughts. The Psalm above has formed part of the song-book of the people of Israel for around 2500 years – from well before Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem of Judea in AD 0.


What was the Psalmist trying to understand, “When I thought how to understand all this.......’?


Well, the Psalmist was envious of the “arrogant” when he saw their prosperity: “They have no pangs until death; their bodies are fat and sleek. They are not in trouble as others are.......”


And the Psalmist was deeply sorry for himself, “All in vain have I kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence.”


Yes, he was sorry for himself that he was not wealthy and happy like the rest of the people around him. Sorry, actually, because both his own covert desire to be truthful and to have integrity (kept my heart clean) as well as his own overt desire to do things righteously (washed my hands in innocence) had precluded his “success”.


The Psalmists deep unhappiness was only resolved when he thought about the “end”.


Mention of his end-time thinking being done “in the sanctuary of God” makes one realise that one can only factor the “end” into our present policies and strategies when we are aware of - in the presence of -  the unending Almighty Creator.

‘It is the end that crowns us, not the fight.’ (Robert Herrick, English poet, 1591-1674)
‘If we spend 16 Hours a day dealing with tangible things and only 5 minutes a day dealing with God, is it any wonder that tangible things are 200 times [16x12=192] more real to us than God?’ (William R Inge, English Author, 1860-1952)
Richard Syvret

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