Christian Resource Centre

 

Date: 25 September 2004 | Author: Dele Oke

What age has God given us?

We recently had someone in Church celebrate her eightieth birthday. It was a joyous occasion for the family, friends and church.

At times like this Psalm 90:10 is often quoted.

The length of our days is seventy years- or eighty, if we have the strength; yet their span is but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away. (NIV)

When read in isolation, this verse gives the impression that 70 years is our lot, or 80 if you are strong.

Prior to the flood in Genesis 7, mankind lived close to a thousand years. Adam died at 930 and his son, Seth, lived till 920 years (Genesis 5). After the flood Noah reached the ripe age of 950 (Genesis 9).

All this puts Psalm 90:4 in perspective.

For a thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night. (NIV)

People before the flood lived what was to God: like a day, a little less than a thousand years.

Things changed drastically after the flood. God pegged man?s life expectancy to 120 years.

Then the LORD said, "My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal; his days will be a hundred and twenty years." Genesis 6:3 (NIV)

God reduced the life expectancy out of a necessity to restrict the evil that mankind was bent on perpetuating. God?s word is seen coming into effect in the following generations. Abraham lived to 175 years (Genesis 25:7) and Moses died at 120 years (Deuteronomy 34:7). God?s promise for our life was 120 years.

Now lets read Psalm 90:7-10 again

We are consumed by your anger and terrified by your indignation.
You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence.
All our days pass away under your wrath; we finish our years with a moan.

The length of our days is seventy years- or eighty, if we have the strength; yet their span is but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away. (NIV)

Notice it is sin that cuts the lifespan down to 70 years, (or 80 if you have the strength). The Psalmist is making an observation of the duration of life man seems to attain. God?s promise of 120 years has not changed.

Don?t get me wrong. 70 years is a good time to go if you have fulfilled what God has in store for you ? health and wealth (God?s blessings) permitting, hanging about till 80 years is not bad either. But there is something even more important.

Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
Psalm 90:12 (NIV)

Numbering our days and applying our hearts to wisdom will lead us to accept the Lord Jesus Christ and stay with Him.

It is better to live till 60 years and die in the Lord with the assurance of heaven than to live till 121 years and die without the saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.

May the Lord in His mercy teach us how to apply our hearts to wisdom.

How we end our life on earth is more important than when we end it.

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