February 02 2012 / Posted by Asst. Pastor Stevie Roy
Longevity in the Bible
C. S. Lewis once said;
“There are questions at issue between Christians to which I do not think we have been told the answer. There are some to which I may never know the answer: if i ask them; even in a better world, I might (for all I know) be answered as a far greater questioner was answered: ‘What is that to thee? Follow thou me.’” (from the preface of Mere Christianity.)
Having said this, I encourage questions as they can stimulate us to greater faith. I plan to post answers to some of the questions that people ask, hoping to stimulate thought and discussion. I am not saying that my answers are either full or complete, or even totally right.
Question: Why do people in Biblical time live for so long?
Answer: God created people on the earth, and when he did so His creation was perfect. They were never supposed to die. However, death became part of their [our] reality after they [we] sinned against God. It seems logical to me that the process of decay was slow, hence the longevity. The decay began from a place of perfection (unlike today), not just the people, but the creation itself.
The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die. Genesis 2:15-17
At the end of the day it would seem to me that people’s days were shortened by God’s own will. Read this passage from Genesis. God shortened people’s days to 120. Some people still live into their 100s these days. Imagine a world without all the pollution of our times. Where people don’t have junk food. No man-made nuclear power stations. No radioactivity. No microwaves floating around the planet. Living off the land. No electricity, hence a much simpler life. More exercise. It’s not hard to see more people living up to that grand age of 120. Something changed at this point in time, before the flood. It was by God’s design.
Then the LORD said, My Spirit will not contend with man for ever, for he is mortal; his days will be a hundred and twenty years. Genesis 6:3
The Bible also talks about how creation groans. It’s in pain. It’s in decline. But it’s waiting for something to happen. It’s waiting for the church [the universal church that is] to be complete, a people set apart for God, from every tribe, tongue and nation. God is building the church at the moment, but His work will not be finished, even when that is done. Satan will be dealt with, finally.
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. 22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. 26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will. Romans 8:18-27
Does this make sense?