Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
Life is short. Life is fragile. We all have heard these statements many times throughout the years warning us not to take tomorrow for granted. Preachers and Bible teachers use this verse as Scriptural proof of this principle. We are warned in Proverbs 27:1 not to boast ourselves of tomorrow because we do not know what will happen to us today. For years I only saw this application of James 4:14. Humanity is a frail existence, as frail and weak as vapor. But then, one day, I was reading a commentary by one of my favorite writers, John Phillips, and I was exposed to another side of the truth about vapor.
- Vapor Speaks of a Transient Life.
We are only here for a little while, just like vapor. “Here today, and gone tomorrow.” And for most of us, soon forgotten. But hold on, there is more to vapor than its short life span.
- Vapor Speaks of a Transformed Life.
Everyone knows the chemical composition of water is H2O. Guess what?!? So is vapor’s. Vapor is water that has had its nature and behavior changed. Water obeys the downward pull of this earth; vapor overcomes it. Water always seeks the lowest level; vapor soars as high as it possibly can. Water gravitates to the sea; vapor rises to the sky. Water’s place is on the earth, eventually gathering in the sea; vapor’s place is in the heavenlies, ultimately residing in the clouds. The power that transforms vapor is the sun. Because of the sun, vapor is seated in the heavenlies. Not all water responds to the drawing power of the sun, but that which does rises and dwells above.
- Vapor Speaks of a Triumphant Life.
Another name for vapor is steam. A scientist noticed an iron pot full of water sitting over a fire. That pot had a heavy lid on it and suddenly it began to lift and move. When it lifted, steam escaped. It amazed him that as weak and unsubstantial as steam was, it was powerful enough to lift that lid. He devised a way to harness and channel the steam so it could be put to work. The steam engine was invented and the Industrial Revolution began. Vapor proved not be frail, but powerful and triumphant.
Life is like a vapor. We can be earthly minded and obey the downward pull of gravity, never seeing the victorious life that God has planned for us. Or, we can respond to the transforming power of the SON and live joyfully above this world system. Our lives can be weak, wasted, and drifting like vapor in the air, or we can be changed, channeled, and combined with others to do great things for God. The decision is yours. Life is like a vapor.