2001-10-15 - Long Life
Genesis 6:3 "Then the Lord said, 'My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one-hundred and twenty years."
I was recently reading, "The Christian Miscellany, and Family Visitor," which was a Methodist Journal printed in 1857. In one short article there is mention made of the oldest living man in America at that time. His name was Peter Nessau and he lived in Vermont. At the time of this publication, public documents held by N. Haskell, the town clerk of Woodstock, Vermont, showed him to be 126 years old. He was said to be vigorous and full of life.
However, this journal went on by citing the Boston Transcript, which was said to have documented incredible lives based on their lengths. I wanted to share some of them with you. The authority for these was said to be Dr. J. W. Draper, in his book on Human Physiology. Some examples are: Margaret Patten was said to have lived to 137, The Countess of Desmond, 145, Thomas Parr, 152, Thomas Damme, 154, John Rovin, 172, and his wife to 164, Peter Torton, 185. Parr is said to have been born in 1483, and married at age 120. Lastly, Henry Jenkins, who died at Yorkshire, in 1670, lived 169 years.
You might wonder why I have produced this list here. Mostly I have done this because I think it is interesting. However, there is something here for us to learn. It doesn't matter how long we live, because long lives and short lives all end. Hebrews 9:27 tells us that it is appointed for us to die once and then judgment. We would probably be foolish to think our lives will be as long as any of those mentioned above, but we would be a lot more foolish to forget that after death, for all, comes judgment.
The wonder is that for those who have trusted in Christ and received pardon for sin through His atonement, judgment is nothing to fear. Yes, we will stand in judgment, but we will be clothed not in our righteousness, but in Christ's. I am not telling anyone that they will not live to 150; I would say it is highly unlikely. However, what I am trying to say that it really doesn't matter. What matters is Jesus Christ and our embracing the Gospel He offers to needy sinners.
Some verses that help to explain this are Romans 3:23, Isaiah 53:6, Romans 6:23, Hebrews 9:27, Romans 5:8, 1 Peter 3:18, Ephesians 2:8, 9, Titus 3:5, John 1:12, Revelation 3:20, 1 John 5:13, and John 5:24. That is even a great order to look them up in. I know that is a long list of verses, but maybe God will give you a lot of time to study them and learn how they apply to Christ, you and the forgiveness for sin He offers. There are many important aspects to life, but none more important than seeking Christ and the free grace He offers to all who seek it.
"Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks, it shall be opened." Matthew 7:7,8
Soli Deo Gloria,