Out of This World My dear brethren, when asked once, in his mid-60s, what surprised him most in his old age, Billy Graham answered without hesitation: “the brevity of life.” The brevity of life has caught up with even centenarians. Looking back this watchman too is shocked at the speed of time. After walking with the Lord for a long long time how did Enoch feel? What did he talk to God about? I sometimes ask. 365 years seem a long time to us. But most men lived long before the flood. Adam lived 930 years. Methuselah lived 969 years old. Noah lived 950 years. God talked to them. They talked to God. After the flood, some men lived to over a hundred years though not as long. Abraham 175 (born 1946 years after Adam), Isaac 180.
One thing that stands out is the relationship they had with God. Being able to hear God and talk to God is something that we all need today. Can we? Yes. God has given every born again believer the Holy Spirit who lives in us and talks to us. We are joined to the Lord and one spirit with the Lord. (1 Corinthians 6:17) There are many teachings on how we can hear God today. We can enjoy the longevity of life span on earth and not miss out our daily walk with God engaging in friendly two way conversation with Him, just as Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses and many others did. God called Abraham His friend.
To live to such old age one needs to be healthy and youthful. God has set man’s life to be one hundred and twenty years. (Genesis 6:3) Moses lived to 120. His eyes were not dimmed nor his natural vigor diminished. (Deuteronomy 34:7) David testified in his psalm that his youth was renewed like the eagle’s. (Psalm 103:5) Sarah lived until 127 and died. After that Abraham (137 and above) married again and had other sons.
One man that stood out was Caleb. Caleb was known for his strength in his spirit, soul (mind and will) and body wholly. God described Caleb this way, “But My servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit in him and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land where he went, and his descendants shall inherit it.” (Numbers 14:24) At 85 Caleb was as strong as he was at forty including his strength for war, going out and coming in, because he wholly followed God and held fast to God’s promises spoken to him through Moses. (Joshua 14:6-14)
When we sum up the lives of all these men of faith in the Bible, we can see that the significance of life is the “quantity in terms of quality”. Quality can only come from their relationship with God. They had lived in the presence of God.
My first spiritual breakthrough after being born again for thirty years was knowing God in the spirit just as Jesus has emphasized that God is Spirit (John 4:24). Since then I have walked with a new passion and assurance in the spiritual reality of God and the truthfulness of His words which are spirit and life (John 6:63). Looking at all the past miracles God has done in my life I too hold fast to the promises and prophecies that the Lord has spoken. I am looking forward to this year with increasingly renewed strength to live in the ever presence of my God. I pray that you too, expect the same with confident hope. Age is no excuse.
Bible verses Joshua 14:6-14
6 Then the children of Judah came to Joshua in Gilgal. And Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him: “You know the word which the Lord said to Moses the man of God concerning you and me in Kadesh Barnea. 7 I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh Barnea to spy out the land, and I brought back word to him as it was in my heart. 8 Nevertheless my brethren who went up with me made the heart of the people melt, but I wholly followed the Lord my God. 9 So Moses swore on that day, saying, ‘Surely the land where your foot has trodden shall be your inheritance and your children’s forever, because you have wholly followed the Lord my God.’ 10 And now, behold, the Lord has kept me alive, as He said, these forty-five years, ever since the Lord spoke this word to Moses while Israel wandered in the wilderness; and now, here I am this day, eighty-five years old. 11 As yet I am as strong this day as on the day that Moses sent me; just as my strength was then, so now is my strength for war, both for going out and for coming in. 12 Now therefore, give me this mountain of which the Lord spoke in that day; for you heard in that day how the Anakim were there, and that the cities were great and fortified. It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall be able to drive them out as the Lord said.”
13 And Joshua blessed him, and gave Hebron to Caleb the son of Jephunneh as an inheritance. 14 Hebron therefore became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite to this day, because he wholly followed the Lord God of Israel. 15 And the name of Hebron formerly was Kirjath Arba (Arba was the greatest man among the Anakim).
Then the land had rest from war.