LIFE AFTER EIGHTY
By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
CALEB said: “...The Lord hath kept me alive, as He said, these forty and five years ...I am this day four score and five years old. As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me... Now therefore give me this mountain, where the Anakims dwell, if so be the Lord will be with me, then shall I be able to drive them out, as the Lord said.” (Joshua 14: 10-12)
For many years I preached what theologians and Bible Scholars taught, namely, that if you reached the age of seventy or possibly eighty, that was the gold standard of longevity. Then, one day, my eyes were opened to the fact that possibly we had been fed a faulty theology based on a wrong interpretation of Holy Scripture. Their philosophy of longevity was based on Psalm 90: 9 -10, which states:
“For all our days are passed away in Thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told. The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is there strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.”
There is a major problem that has been overlooked by most theologians. You may ask: “And what is the problem?” Moses was the writer of the 90th Psalm and that was the only Psalm he wrote!
MOSES WROTE ONLY ONE PSALM!
MOSES was the writer of the 90th. Psalm and it was the only Psalm he wrote! And to whom did he write it and for what purpose? He wrote it to a rebellious people whom Almighty God had refused entry into the Promised Land. Due to their unbelief and rebellion, they spent thirty-eight needless years in the wilderness until everyone over the age of twenty had died.
Only Joshua and Caleb entered the Promised Land because they were the only spies that returned from Canaan, saying: “Let us go up at once, and possess it. For we are well able to overcome it.” ( Numbers 13: 30) The other ten spies came back to Moses with an evil report of unbelief:
“We be not able to go against the people' for they are stronger than we...The land through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of great stature. And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants; and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so were we in their sight.” (Numbers 13: 31-33)
God was angry with his people and forced then to spend an extra 38 years in the wilderness until the unbelievers had all died.
CALEB was 85 years of age when they entered the land of Canaan and was as strong as when he first joined Moses 45 years earlier. Moses was not allowed to enter into the Promised Land because he had disobeyed God in striking the rock (a type of Christ) the second time.
Moses was upset with the Children of Israel because of their rebellious ways and therefore disobeyed God's order to only speak to the rock. The 'Rock' of course spoke of our Lord Jesus “the water of life”, who DIED ON THE CROSS. He does not need to be struck again. All Moses needed to do was to speak to 'the rock' on the second occasion and water would have gushed out.
Even though MOSES was one hundred and twenty years old and “his natural strength unabated and his eyes not dim”, yet God did not allow him to enter into the land of Canaan. He died on the Mount and God buried his body, even though he was in perfect health at 120 years of age.
GOD SETS THE AGE OF LONGEVITY!
Just before He sent the FLOOD, Almighty God set the limit of longevity. No longer would man live to be 969 like Methuselah. He would gradually reduce man's days on the earth because of his sinfulness. Even though he was a man of faith, Abraham lived only 175 years and finally people lived shorter and shorter lives. He set the lowest limit to be 120 years. Not 80 years but 120 years!!
My belief is that if we would allow Jesus Christ to fill us with the love, goodness, peace and strength of God, purchased for us through His shed blood, we would live a lot longer than we now do!
Jesus gave us the KEY to forgiveness, freedom from fear and sickness and eternal life in the Holy Scriptures. “These words spake Jesus, and lifted up His eyes to Heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come' glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee. As Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given Him. And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the ONLY TRUE GOD and Jesus Christ, Whom Thou has sent.” (John 17: 1-3)
St. John stated: “And we know that we are of God, and the whole lieth in wickedness. And we KNOW that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an UNDERSTANDING, that we may KNOW Him that is TRUE, and we are in Him that is TRUE, even in His Son Jesus Christ. This is TRUE GOD and ETERNAL LIFE.” (1 John 5:19,20)
May each of us trust in the shed blood of Jesus Christ to forgive, save and heal us, and in His Holy inerrant Word to keep us and the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us into all truth! Amen.