The Bible tells us there was a time when we lived what seemed like forever. Methuselah lived to be 969 years old! Amazing. Some may wonder why we don’t live that long anymore while others may even be curios about what the flood had to do with our longevity. After the flood we were only given 120 years as opposed to the 6-700 at least before.
IF THEY COULD HAVE ONLY LIVED LONGER
I believe that everyone knows someone that they would have desired to see live longer, a Grandparent, a friend, a son, a daughter, or a parent. In the grand scheme of things however, we can’t question God’s sovereignty and throw too many questions to Him about why certain deaths happen, as He sees the whole picture and knows the effect each and every life has in relation to others. He is the Master Planner, most of us wouldn’t be who we are today if it had not been for certain unfortunate tragedies making us stronger, safer, healthier, or even kinder.
There is a wonderful book that I just finished written by Dr. Hugh Ross, an Astrophysicist and Biblical Scholar called: Hidden Treasures in the Book of Job: How the Oldest Book in the Bible Answers Today’s Scientific Questions. In this book Dr. Ross goes into great detail on how science relates to the Bible from the creation to the Dinosaurs. One particular passage that I found extremely interesting was this passage in regards to death and life expectancy:
“Skeptics sometimes use death as an argument to support their rejection of faith. Their line of reasoning goes something like this:
1. The God of the Bible claims to be all-loving and all-powerful.
2. An all-loving, all-powerful God would not subject His creators to an experience as profoundly dreadful and irreversible as death.
3. Therefore the biblical God must not be God, if there is a God.
Job and his friends held firmly to their convictions that death is something other than the cessation of all consciousness. They believed death is a doorway into a realm beyond life as we know it. Job sees it as the doorway to ongoing “peace and rest” (3:13) Zophar (Job’s friend) describes it as the doorway to “terrors”, “total darkness,” and “fire” for those who exalt themselves above God. (20:25-26)
One insight that emerges from this conversation is that a person’s view of death reflects his or her view of life and what life is about.
Job and his friends pondered life’s brevity, considering why a loving God would limit our earthy existence to a few trips around the sun. Job offered some remarkable observations. He seemed to recognize that a relatively short human life span effectively protects humanity by limiting the expression of evil. He describes how the death of the wicked delivers the righteous from evil assaults. (24:19-24, 27:18-23). The principle here is that when a person becomes irreversibly committed to doing evil, a longer life span would result in an escalation of harm.
(The author goes on to explain to us that in pre-flood times when humanity was allowed to live hundreds of years, the main cause for death was murder. To the degree that Noah and his family were the ONLY righteous human beings left on earth. Very few people died of natural causes during this time due to the sin of man and the extended life span, the righteous easily fell prey to the wicked, and would be all but extinct today if it were not for the newly shortened life span encouraging the righteous to make right with God quickly.)
Those who complain about the brevity of life fail to realize that potentially longer life spans can actually shorten human longevity. When God decreed in Genesis 6:3 that the maximum human life span would be abbreviated to about 120 years, he acted to protect humanity and extend the average human lifetime. He shielded humans committed to righteous living from becoming completely overwhelmed by those humans bent on rapacious greed and violence… God has allowed humanity to see that seven decades (or thereabouts) is adequate time for a person to choose his or her eternal destiny, pursue a life of worship and blessing, and pass along a legacy of virtue.
For those who have made peace with God in submitting to his authority and have received his offer of eternal salvation, the comforting knowledge exists that the Savior himself will come and personally escort the believer across death’s threshold. (See Ps. 23:4) As recorded in Acts, just before the young deacon Stephen crossed over death’s threshold, Jesus visibly appeared to him (7:54-60). The believer, therefore, need not fear the death event.” pages 40-43
Today, as we take into consideration our loved ones and our desire to hold them as tight as we can, as long as we can, let us also maintain the thought that the Lord has a divine purpose and plan for His creation. To quote Dr. Ross, “… God has allowed humanity to see that seven decades (or thereabouts) is adequate time for a person to choose his or her eternal destiny, pursue a life of worship and blessing, and pass along a legacy of virtue.”
If you have lost a son or a daughter, know that their lives touched deeply the lives of many others. That the Lord saw that it was fitting for them to go and be with Him, and even though their time was brief here on the earth it was long enough that they have passed along a legacy of virtue-
“When they heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”
At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul.
While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”
Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep.” Acts 7:54-60
May God continue to bless you my friends with encouraging words!
As a community we welcome your comments and replies!
You can buy Dr. Ross’s book through Amazon HERE