Before I comment on Edwards, I want to note that today is the day Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, Roger Youderian, Ed McCully and Pete Fleming were speared to death by the tribe they were trying to reach with the gospel in Ecuador (January 8, 1956). I thank God for these men. Their example is one following in the footsteps of Jesus. They loved the people they were trying to reach, and gave their lives to work with them for their joy in Jesus (2 Cor. 1:24), and just like Jesus who “came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him”, these people killed Jim and his friends. Their wives and children were left in a nearby village. But God was working for the good, and now because of the spearing and the faithful witness of their wives and children, the tribe knows Jesus. Although these men are now among the group crying out to the Father in Rev. 6:9-11, they wouldn’t have it any other way. Jim Elliot’s journals have long been a guide for me in my life. Watch this short video on my previous blog reflecting on them, I hope you see Jesus in it.
Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if it were the last hour of my life.
This resolution follows nicely with today being the anniversary of the spearing mentioned above. Why would Edwards be afraid to do something if it were the last hour of his life? Simple, in the last hour of your life there will be a fear of what is to come. Even if you’re a Christian, your flesh and the devil will lie, telling you that you’re not holy enough to go to heaven. In that last hour you want to spend your time on what matters most, not on what you would be ashamed of doing if God were to bring you back during that action. This bears a massive weight on the present moment.
I think Edwards means to say that he wants his hours now, to be filled with what he would most love to do in the last hour of his life, because he does not know when that hour will come. Thus every hour matters, because after all, any hour could be the last.
Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, Roger Youderian, Ed McCully and Pete Fleming knew this. Jonathan Edwards knew it. Do you?