/ Nathan Eshelman

Elon's (and Your) Historical Record: Date. Dash. Date.

As the ancient church historian was writing the book of Judges, he must have asked himself, “What do I know about Elon?” (Judges 12:11-12) The other historians around him must have scratched their heads, much like you may be doing as you secretly ask, “Who is Elon?” As the ancient historian summed up the whole life of a political and spiritual leader in ancient Israel, he came to the conclusion that not much was known about Judge Elon. His answer was that Elon lived. Elon worked. Elon died.

“After him Elon the Zebulunite judged Israel, and he judged Israel ten years. Then Elon the Zebulunite died and was buried at Aijalon in the land of Zebulun.”

We might hope that an ancient historian would record more for us, but the fact is that every life on this earth will be summed up as Elon’s life is here summed. You live. You work. You die.

This is the fate to which each one of us have to come to grips. What will you do with that time? What will be the focus of your life in the short period of time that you have on this earth?

Even as a little boy I was a fan of cemeteries. My paternal grandparents lived in a little cottage on the end of a long gravel road. On one side of their little cottage was a creek called the Brokenstraw. As a boy I thought it was a raging river! The other side of their little cottage was a small cliff that my siblings and I would climb, and at the top of the little cliff was the old Columbus Cemetery. I can picture it even now.

I remember walking to that cemetery over and over with siblings or cousins. As a young boy I was impressed with the fact that I did not know the people under those headstones and I doubted that many people alive knew them either. Who were these people? Old  headstones contain but a few bits of information. There is a name. There is a date with a dash and there is another date. Generally there is nothing of a person’s character, loves, faith, or accomplishments. Name. Date. Dash. Date.

That’s basically what we have in the historical record of Elon. Name. Date. Dash. Date.

“After him Elon the Zebulunite judged Israel, and he judged Israel ten years. Then Elon the Zebulunite died and was buried at Aijalon in the land of Zebulun.”

Each one of us will one day be remembered just as Elon. He lived. He worked. He died. And in that dash that marks the summary of existence, what will be your life? We all succumb to death as the penalty for Adam’s sin. Will you live eternally because of Christ? Will you be free from the second death because you have trusted in the only mediator between God and man, the Lord Jesus Christ? Will you submit to him and cast your burden on the cross so that you might live? This is the only hope in this life marked by a mere dash.

A dash is such a small thing, especially in light of eternity. Christ was raised from the dead to show his defeat of sin and his power even over the dash. That is our only hope for life beyond date. dash. date. Elon lived, worked, and died. Christ’s victory over death is the hope beyond the dash.

Nathan Eshelman

Nathan Eshelman

Pastor in Orlando, studied at Puritan Reformed Theological & Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminaries. One of the chambermen on the podcast The Jerusalem Chamber. Married to Lydia with 5 children.

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