“Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. Isaiah 46:4
This week the news carried the picture of a 115 year old “young American lady who is now the oldest person in the world, the other 115 year old from Asia, older by a few months, having just died. We are told today that for any number of reasons we are living longer on average than those since early Biblical days. Thanks to modern medicine, and the eradication of many ailments and diseases, there is certainly the potential for longer life. The Bible itself is not short on promises concerning living to a ripe old age in this world, though its formula for attaining old age is not found on the pages of most “health magazines. There the focus is on what you can do for the “machinery, the physical body, with little mention of the spirit that empowers it and directs your steps.
God’s Word speaks about long life for those who fear the Lord, who honor their parents, who walk in His ways, who guard their tongues from evil and deceitful speech, who hunger for righteousness, who practice obedience to His commands, “fixing His words in their heart and in their home, while teaching them to their children, and their children’s children. It is not the prescription of the “health magazines. But it is the prescription of the One who made us and controls every life for good or ill.
Yet it can still be shown that God in His wisdom has seen fit to cut short the lives of those who in our estimation and His (see for example Stephen in the New Testament) lived such a life. This is the mystery of Providence, and one of the many questions we shall have for Him in eternity, when we see our Lord face to face, and not through a “glass darkly as the Scriptures put it. It is for us who desire to see and influence the lives of our children and theirs, and the lives of others, by the example of our own life of godliness, which rest on the promise that “gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life.
My own father, whom I love dearly, is now approaching his 91st birthday. He is certainly, in his own words, yearning for home (heaven) where his sweetheart of 62 years of marriage awaits, but better still His beloved Savior. Yet he is content to rest in His Providence who determines the length of his days and knows each one of our life’s end (Psalm 139:16).
Would you like to know what your date is? How would it change the way you approach life today? We live now, and we shall live tomorrow by faith alone, trusting in the Word which is ours for the hearing any and every day. We do not “see the day of our death, already ordained for us. But we can see and know the One who has ordained it. Many “things and people can get in the way of prioritizing Him, but it is your spirit that “fixes your choices. Job’s counselors were not renowned for the accuracy of their counsel, but Eliphaz was not off the mark when he rightly prophesied of Job, “You will come to the grave in full vigor, like sheaves gathered in season. (Job 5:26) This is another way of saying, “Finish well!
Heavenly Father, teach me to number my days aright, that I may gain a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:12)
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