Threescore and Ten
As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years,
Or if due to strength, eighty years,
Yet their pride is but labor and sorrow;
For soon it is gone and we fly away.
- Psalms 90:10
These words were written 2,700 years ago. Almost 3 millenniums ago the writer observes that man's life span is about 70-80 years. Today, with all the advances of modern medicine, doctors tell us that the average lifespan is 75.8 years. When we compare these two pieces of information we learn three important lessons:
1. God is the one who is in charge of life.
He establishes the extent of our lifespan. Man, no matter how hard he tries, cannot change the border of his life. I believe that through His kindness God has allowed us to discover ways to relieve the suffering we experience during that 75.8 years but not to double the 75.8 years to 150 or beyond.
2. Our lifespan should serve as a constant reminder that one day we have to face death and the judgment to come.
A brief life (75 years goes by in a hurry) should inject a sense of urgency in getting our priorities right and investing our time and energy in the proper way. Great men and women were those who knew that they only had so much time and did not waste it.
For example, Phillip the father of Alexander the Great would have his servant wake him up in the morning by saying: "You are going to die."
3. In the end, resurrection is all that counts.
If the resurrection is true, we have hope. If it is not true, then all we have is about 75.8 years.
We need to count the days we have left and make the most of them because that is all we have. The choice is whether we will make the most of the time by taking in as much of the world as we can or if we will use the time in preparing for the resurrection.
The choice is always before us. We can prepare now for the resurrection by giving our life to Christ in baptism or being restored.
- When was the last time you thought about dying? What were your thoughts?
- If you had a "do over" what is one thing you would change and one thing you wouldn't change about your life?
- Whose life (aside from Jesus) do you truly admire? Why?
- What would you like to accomplish or finish before you die?
- If God called you to die today, would you be ready? Why yes / why no?