Copyright 1994 - 2017 Bill's Bible Basics
Authored By :
Published On :
November 23, 1998
Last Updated :
July 6, 2011
Life Trials, Problems With Advancing Age, Brevity Of Human Existence, Life Spans Of The Patriarchs, Ousted From Eden, Shame Of Adam And Eve, God Curses The Ground, Fruit Of Sin, Methuselah's Death, The Translation Of Enoch, Two Sackcloth Witnesses, Blessing Of Noah, Accelerated Aging Process, Age Limit And Violence And Evilness Of Man, Mankind's Propensity For Self-Destruction, Man's Pollution Of The Earth, Waiting To Be Delivered, God Sends Flood, Depth Of Man's Wickedness, Coming Wrath Of God, Extended Lifespan Myth, The Benefits Of Modern Science And Medicine, Are We Fighting Against God's Will For Our Lives?, The Poor Nations Are At A Disadvantage, Millions Of Uninsured American Citizens, An Uncertain Future, Profit-Minded Discriminatory HMO's, Plight Of America's Poor, The Financial Burden Of Sickness, Woman With Issue Of Blood
As I mention in the article "The Lord Will Lift You Up!", if there is one thing of which every one of us can be certain, it is that from the time we are born, until the day in which we die, we will all face a certain amount of problems in our lives. Whether it is a hungry baby clamoring for his busy mother's attention, or young siblings fighting over one of their favorite toys, or a young teenager having his first serious disagreement with his parents, or an adult having problems with the boss at the workplace, or a married couple considering divorce, problems are just an inescapable part of our short lives here in the physical realm.
As we enter the final years of our pilgrimage on this Earth, while none of us look forward to such things, we oft times find ourselves facing even more life-threatening situations as our bodies begin to break down due to time and usage. Our eyes grow dim and tired, sometimes plagued with cataracts. Cholesterol and clogged arteries becomes a serious issue which earlier in our lives we never once considered. Memory sometimes becomes unreliable as we suddenly find ourselves in a battle against time and Alzheimer's disease. We become conscious of going bald as our hair slowly begins to thin. Sometimes different organs -- such as our kidneys -- begin to malfunction. Our back grows weak and bent, and it seems as if our strength is sapped from our bodies upon doing the smallest of tasks.
In short, as the Bible clearly informs us, while in the days of our youth we were full of strength and carried ourselves with pride and self-confidence, we are suddenly forced to acknowledge the weakness, vulnerability and frailty of our human condition. We humbly recognize that we are truly only dust. We are as the grass that turns brown and eventually withers, or as a green leaf that fades as the cold winter approaches. Our life is but as a cloud which only appears for a little time in the sky and then vanishes in the distance. Consider the following verses:
"For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust."
Psalms 103:14, KJV
"The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever."
Isaiah 40:6-8, KJV
"Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away."
James 4:14, KJV
While the current human life span averages from about sixty to ninety years, with a small percentage of people exceeding this range, God's Word clearly indicates that this has not always been the case. In the informative article entitled "The Earth Is Under 7,000 Years Old!", this can be observed in the lives of the antediluvian, and the early post-Flood, Patriarchs; some of whom lived for almost a thousand years. Following is a graph which is based upon some of the data that is included in the aforementioned article. I trust that you will find it interesting. Please note that due to the graphic format, the life lines are not exact, but they are close to being accurate in most cases:
One can only wonder how Adam must have felt as he began to witness the long-term effects of his disobedience in the Garden of Eden, beginning with the cold-blooded murder of Abel by his jealous brother Cain. We are told that it wasn't until the days of Adam's grandson, Enos, that men once again began to call upon the name of the Lord, as we see by this verse:
"And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD."
Genesis 4:26, KJV
The implication of this verse seems to be that men did not call upon the Lord for a time following the ouster from the Garden of Eden. If this is indeed the case, then it would seem that from the time of Abel's death, through the birth of Seth, to the birth of Enos, it must have been a very dark time for mankind. Adam and Eve must have truly felt abandoned by the Lord after being ousted from the Garden of Eden. While previously, Adam and Eve only knew God's Love, now they fully understood and experienced His Wrath as well. As I explain in the article "Beholding The Evil And The Good", while the Lord didn't really abandon Adam and Eve, perhaps He had to allow them to think that He did, in order that they might learn a few valuable lessons.
Imagine if you were Adam and Eve; and you had to tell your son Seth how you had once lived in a place of incomparable beauty called the Garden of Eden; where there was no need for back-breaking hard work or suffering; but then you had been driven out because of things you had done against your Creator's wishes. Or consider how hard it must have been for them to inform Seth at some point in his life, that he once had a brother named Abel who had been killed by his older brother Cain, who then fled from the family in shame. It may have taken a while before Adam and Eve were even able to share their failures with their family. It must have weighed heavily upon them. We also know that life was hard for the early Patriarchs; for since the days of The Fall, the Lord had cursed the ground so that it grudgingly brought forth fruit for early man's survival, as we see by these verses:
"And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;"
Genesis 3:17-18, KJV
"And he called his name Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD hath cursed."
Genesis 5:29, KJV
Imagine the mental anguish it must have caused Adam and Eve to watch the next eight generations toil and suffer because of their sins. Notice also that, based upon my understanding of the chronology of the Book of Genesis, Methuselah -- who was Noah's grandfather -- died the same year that the Flood arrived upon the Earth. We can only wonder if in His Mercy, the Lord allowed Methuselah to die of old age only days, weeks, or perhaps at best, months, prior to the Flood. Is it possible that Methuselah may have actually died as a result of the Flood, due to his own disbelief? We honestly do not know, being as the Bible is silent regarding this matter.
I also find it rather interesting that, aside from Abel's premature death at the hands of his jealous brother, Cain, Methuselah was the first Patriarch to outlive his son. Based upon my calculations, Methuselah lived five years beyond the death of his own son, Lamech, who was the father of Noah. I am not including Enoch here, being as the Bible informs us that he actually walked with God; and apparently, Enoch did not experience a normal physical death as far as we know. Consider the following verses:
"And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him."
Genesis 5:22-24, KJV
"By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God."
Hebrews 11:5, KJV
As I point out in the four-part series entitled "The Two Sackcloth Witnesses Of Revelation 11", because Enoch seems to have never suffered a physical death, some Bible teachers speculate that he may be one of the two Sackcloth Witnesses who are mentioned in the eleventh chapter of the Book of Revelation. We are told that they witness in Israel during the final three and a half years of the reign of the Beast; and that once they complete their witness, they are killed, and their bodies lie in the streets of Jerusalem for three and a half days, during which time the world rejoices. But then the world is quite shocked when the Two Witnesses are suddenly, and miraculously, resurrected, and called up to Heaven. This event seems to coincide with the sound of the Seventh Trump, and the Return of Jesus Christ to the Earth. Consider the following verses:
"And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth . . . And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them."
Revelation 11:3, 7-12, KJV
While Adam's days may have been full of anguish and mental turmoil, Noah may have been blessed with the exact opposite. This ancient Patriarch lived to see nine generations of his descendants repopulate the restored Earth following the Flood. While I have calculated that Noah died just two years before Abraham's birth, if we account for human error, it is possible that Noah may have still been alive at the time the Patriarch Abraham was born in the land of the Chaldees. The dates that I provide in "The Earth Is Under 7,000 Years Old" do have a small margin of error, being as we are not certain at what time of the year each of the Patriarchs was born. This allows for a fluctuation of one or two years with some of the dates. Noah's second son, Shem, likewise lived long enough to see the next ten generations, up to and including Isaac. In fact, based upon the Scriptural evidence, it seems that Shem may have died just ten years before Jacob was born.
Following the year of the Flood, we can only wonder how the elderly Patriarchs began to feel, as they witnessed their descendants living less years than themselves, as a result of the accelerated aging process. As we know, Adam lived to be nine hundred and thirty years old; Methuselah lived to be nine hundred and sixty-nine years old; and Noah lived to be nine hundred and fifty years old. Immediately following the Flood, the Bible records a clear, rapid decline in the human lifespan; so that by the time of Abraham, people were living under two hundred years, or less than twenty percent of the lifespan of the first Patriarchs. Not even four hundred years later, Moses was extremely old when he died on the top of Pisgah at the age of one hundred and twenty. In the Book of Psalms, King David writes that he lived to be only seventy years old; and to this day, this continues to be the average worldwide norm. Consider David's words:
"The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away."
Psalms 90:10, KJV
I believe that perhaps one of the reasons why the Lord may have chosen to limit man's lifespan following the Flood, was because it was the most effective way to curtail evil, and thus prevent mankind from totally destroying itself before God's Plan of Salvation had been achieved. We only need to look at all of the evil that man has created and committed during this past century alone, to see how true this really is. Even though most people do not live to even reach ninety years of age, this has still been sufficient time for man to create horrific devices, which are now capable of destroying the population of the entire planet; and in the same process reducing the entire Earth to a lifeless cinder block!
While modern atheistic men tend to reject the Word of Truth that's found in the Biblical record, as Christians, we know that the human condition is not evolving or getting better. Quite to the contrary, it is progressively getting worse, and becoming more evil, violent and barbaric, as national governments devise quicker, more efficient, more effective methods for killing their perceived enemies. Furthermore, I am of the belief that this situation will only continue to get worse, until the appearance of our Lord from Heaven. So again, contrary to popular belief, humanity is experiencing moral, spiritual, physical and social deterioration at an alarming rate like never before.
In thinking about man's maddening rush to destroy himself by his own hand, I am reminded of something that Jesus said in one of His sermons that is found in the twenty-fourth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew. In describing the period of great tribulation which would occur prior to His Return, the Lord says that the situation would become so bad, that "except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved". Consider the following verses:
"For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened."
Matthew 24:21-22, KJV
Stop and think for a moment. What other living species on this planet is so foolish as to destroy itself by its own hands? Surely this point emphasizes the insanity of modern men. Not satisfied with destroying ourselves alone, we have now resorted to ruining the very precious Earth upon which our Heavenly Father has given us to live. We are destroying our forests, water, air and seas at unprecedented levels. As the Apostle Paul wrote, all of creation groans waiting to be delivered; and indeed, it shall be delivered at the Return of Jesus Christ, as we see here:
"Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body."
Romans 8:21-23, KJV
As we know from reading the Book of Genesis, it was also because of the great evil which was upon the Earth in those days, that the Lord repented of the work of His own Hands, and chose to destroy it through the Flood. Only in this way could He thoroughly purge the Earth of the evil seed and start anew. Consider the following verses:
"And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them."
Genesis 6:5-7, KJV
I find that phrase so amazing; ". . . every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually". What depth of wickedness dwells in the hearts of men. Through his own pride and folly, early man went from being the Lord's crowning creation, to being something despicable which God finally found necessary to destroy. Man did this to himself without any help from God, although the Fallen Angels most certainly had a hand in this treachery against humanity. If you are interested in learning more about this topic, please consider reading such articles as "Nephilim: The Giants Of Genesis", "The Book Of Enoch: Truth Or Heresy?" "Sex, A Bowl Of Soup And The Nature Of Angels", and "The Judgment Of Angels, Demons And Men".
But as I was saying, man was a beautiful piece of pottery in the Hands of his Divine Creator; but through the subtle lies and deceptions of that evil serpent, Satan, and his cohorts, God's perfect creation became marred, and as a result, had to be cast into the fire of tribulation. In the end, only one vessel and his family remained; that being the man Noah. As I point out in other articles, the Lord tells us the very same thing concerning the evilness of man's heart in the Book of Jeremiah, where the Prophet wrote the following:
"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?"
Jeremiah 17:9, KJV
Is it any wonder then that the Bible informs us that in His appointed time, God will once again shake the Earth, pour out His Wrath upon the seed of evildoers, and start all over again with His dear children who do believe in and reverence Him? Consider the following verses:
"Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men."
2 Peter 3:3-7, KJV
"For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief."
1 Thessalonians 5:3-4, KJV
"See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire."
Hebrews 12:25-29, KJV
In contemplating these different Biblical facts, I am amazed by how we are constantly being lied to, and brainwashed into accepting the myth that, thanks in large part to the modern false gods of science, medicine and technology, the human lifespan has been extended. To uphold this myth, supporters point to such things as the short lives of the early American settlers. We are told that compared to some people today who live into their nineties, and sometimes even beyond that, the American settlers died quite young -- in their thirties and forties -- due to the challenges which they had to face in their daily lives as they went about pioneering the country. This included such obstacles as harsh winters, a scarcity of food, incurable diseases, and conflicts with both human and natural enemies of one sort or another.
While this may have indeed been the case with a number of our forefathers -- obviously, not everyone died in their thirties and forties -- I still believe that this is not painting an honest picture. Furthermore, embracing this myth also serves to subtly shift our attention from the Lord, and His natural laws governing human life, to the gods of modern science and medicine.
An examination of the historical record, whether it is on a national level, or on a worldwide scale, will clearly reveal that the average human lifespan has remained rather constant since the days of the post-Flood Patriarchs. In other words, as a race, we've continued to live the same average of years for the past four thousand years with very little variation, regardless of what man might do in order to try to change it. Even if the human lifespan has seen a slight increase since the advent of modern science and medicine, this increase has had a very minimal effect on the world average of the past four thousand years. As such, in my view, it is not enough to substantiate the false claim that through his own wisdom and power, man has extended the life expectancy rate. This is a subtle deception. I am reminded of the following verse which is found in Paul's second Epistle to Timothy:
"But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived."
2 Timothy 3:13, KJV
Now, lest some of you get the wrong impression, let me also state the following. In all fairness, I will be the first to admit that due to the advances which have been made in the areas of modern science and medicine, a small percentage of people have indeed been given the opportunity to live longer and perhaps healthier lives. Medical procedures such as bone and skin grafts, organ transplants and blood transfusions, laser technology, the creation of artificial hormones such as insulin, the invention of various prosthetic devices and similar technologies have all contributed to extending the lives of certain people. In fact, I will be quite candid and tell you that my daughter is alive today due to her daily insulin injections. Without them, she would have been dead years ago.
On the other hand, I must also point out that, as I discuss in the article "Organ Transplants And Blood Transfusions", there's a very dark side to some of these practices as well. Furthermore, as a Christian, I sometimes wonder how the Lord views some of these practices which, while well-meaning, are really our desperate attempts to avoid, or perhaps at least to temporarily escape, the eventuality which faces us all; that is, death. Is it possible that we are fighting against God's Will for our lives when we resort to these procedures? By trying to prolong our existence, are we in fact rejecting the number of days and years which He has allotted to us? I will discuss this idea in more detail in a moment.
Having stated the above, the point still remains that these people who do prolong their lives through the intervention of modern science and medicine, constitute a fairly small percentage of the overall population of the Earth; and it has had very little effect on changing the worldwide life expectancy rate. From this perspective, it is fair to say that man on the whole is simply not living longer than he did a few hundred years ago, much less thousands of years ago. It is just a modern myth as far as I can tell.
You can verify this fact for yourself simply by performing a small amount of genealogical research with your own family. If you study even the last two or three generations, and then survey all of your currently living relatives, you will probably come to the conclusion that there is really little, if any, difference in the overall family life expectancy rate. Sixty to ninety years will probably still be the norm, just as it has been for thousands of years, with perhaps a few people peaking that point now and then.
To further emphasize the point that modern science has had little impact on the worldwide life expectancy rate, consider the fact that the vast majority of the world's population is comprised of poor people who live in underdeveloped nations. Most of these medical developments and procedures aren't even available in these nations; and even if they were, they would not be affordable by most people. Furthermore, how often have we read of foreign dignitaries who go to the United States of America, or to Western Europe, in order to undergo special medical treatment which is not available in their own nation?
This demonstrates that these advanced medical procedures are for the most part only accessible to citizens who live in the industrialized nations; and even then, not to everyone. While one may assume that the majority of these people are covered by some form of medical insurance, and thus should be able to avail themselves of these advanced procedures, the truth is more troubling. According to statistics that were released by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2008, almost 46 million Americans were without some type of health insurance during at least part of the previous year. Furthermore, a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services survey found that there were almost 58 million uninsured Americans at some point during the first half of 2008.
While there is considerable debate surrounding the accuracy of the aforementioned figures, nevertheless, they demonstrate that there are millions of Americans who are unable to take full advantage of the benefits which are provided by modern science and medicine. While federal law dictates that no US hospital can deny treatment to patients who appear in their emergency room, the unspoken truth is that individuals who do have some form of health insurance, or who can afford to pay by some other means, receive better medical attention. Not only that, but not all medical procedures are fully covered by health insurance in the United States, and some are not covered at all. With the current push to restructure both Medicare and Social Security, many Americans find themselves facing an uncertain future.
As I discuss in "Organ Transplants And Blood Transfusions", it is truly sad to see how politicized caring for the sick and the elderly has become in the United States of America. Rather than being motivated by love, mercy and compassion, many health care facilities have been taken over by HMO's, or Health Maintenance Organizations, whose primary interest is in profit, and in operating hospitals like efficient business enterprises. As I noted a moment ago, rather than serve their local communities with impartiality, offering assistance to those first in line regardless of their social and economic status, some of these HMO's employ discriminatory practices by offering their services first to those who can afford to pay their exorbitant fees. A heart transplant will be performed on a man whose pockets are bulging with money, before it will be performed on a poor child from the ghetto who has no means to pay; even if that child has been on the waiting list for a longer time.
What is also disheartening, is the fact that when some of these poor people do manage to meet the financial demands of the health care institution in question, it is sometimes at a very great price. It isn't unusual for one's entire life savings to be spent during such medical emergencies, as well as during the rehabilitation period which may follow it. If they do recover from their ailment, the sick person is often left with very little upon which to subsist afterwards. In some cases, houses and other personal properties are sold, and the family of the sick individual goes deep into debt in order to meet their financial obligations to the health care facility.
I find it very difficult to accept that this is the Will of our Heavenly Father. Personally, I feel that this is simply taking financial advantage of the misfortunes and tragedies of others. As in a certain story that is found in the Gospel of Luke, sometimes great amounts of money are spent; and the afflicted person still does not recover from their ailment; thus revealing the danger of trusting in modern science and medicine, instead of in the Great Physician. Consider the following verses:
"And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched. And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me. And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately. And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace."
Luke 8:43-48, KJV
Please go to part two for the continuation of this series.
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