Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.Psalm 69:28
The Psalmist and the Book of Life
Remember that in a previous post we noted that the Book of Life was understood in the Old Testament societies as being something like a roll call, it listed the living citizens in a city or even an army.
In this passage the Psalmist prays for the unrighteous to be removed from the book.
In every industry and every time someone writes a book, either fiction, non-fiction, poetry or accounting people have to make many amendments to their “books”. Blogs have a reputation of mostly being of poor quality. Perhaps in content or in the spelling and grammar. Very often a blog post really needs to be rewritten before it is ready for public consumption. This blog is perhaps a good example.
In our estimation we may expect some to be found in the Book but we may get to Heaven and find a person not there. Or, we may not expect someone to be in the Book, but we may be surprised to see them in Heaven one day. The point is, while we do not want to stand as judges over others, we are always amending and changing who we expect to see in the Book of Life.
However, God makes no amendments to His Book, God already knows exactly who will be found in the Book.
What then did the Psalmist mean? I believe to have your name blotted from the book of Life is to say that it was never there.
Other Scriptures that we will look at will prove that those names in the book of Life have been there since before the foundations of the world were created. The Psalmist prays for an “amendment” in the Book, but God makes no amendments. God does not start off with every name in the Book and then as the person falls to sin strike their name from the Book. Please be assured, I am not speaking of some believer’s definition of the elect, in that they are saved against their wills.
So what can we learn from the Psalmist;s reference to the Book? The Psalmist equates righteous living with those whose names are in the Book. The behaviour of some led him to ask God to blot their names out of the Book.
The question then to ask is this, does my behaviour reflect my status in the Book of Life? Do I behave righteously? Am I truly Christian, Christlike? Would I ever need to say, “Don’t judge Christ by my life” even though that is the very reason God leaves believers in this world.
To find your family or town name in the Doomsday Book has an element of status, its some thing to be proud of. More in ancient times than now the Doomsday Book could settle matters of law and the reality of life could be changed by the contents of that book.
The Book of life has to do with sanctification. Does your life reflect your status in the Book of Life?