How long will you live? What is the number of your days, and why is that an important question to consider?
Various websites list statistics on average life expectancy, which is a nice way of saying “average age of death.” The statistics are often categorized by gender, ethnicity, country, and other characteristics.
Since that fateful day in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve earned “the wages of sin” by disobedience, death awaits all of humankind.
Why is it important to consider how long we will live? One obvious reason is that since we know we will die, we should consider how we should conduct ourselves in the days we have left. Another reason is that we should make plans for our end of life and our estate.
If you are reading this, you are still alive. But what is life? Is there a simple definition? Yes, life is the period between birth and death. Yes, life reproduces and grows, acts, reacts, evaluates, and metabolizes, and yes, it proceeds to a state of death, which only happens to living things. For centuries, scientists have offered many different definitions of life, but none have been universally accepted.
Biologists study life but struggle to agree on a definition, instead offering many definitions describing attributes of biochemical processes of living organisms. These include things like growth, reproduction, metabolism, and the ability to adapt. These categories apply to many different forms of life. But simply listing processes doesn’t define what life is. Some have concluded that trying to find a universal definition of life is impossible and a waste of time.
The Bible has much to say about life, and what it says is enlightening, vitally important, and comforting. The Bible describes God giving man the “breath of life” (Genesis 2:7) and that blood is the life of all flesh (Leviticus 17:11, 14). Both are necessary for life.
Our physical life is temporary. The Old Testament repeatedly uses the phrase, “all the days of his life” concerning patriarchs and kings. The Apostle James asks, “For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away” (James 4:14). Moses, in Psalm 90:12, instructs, “So teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” He compares our life to a blade of grass, which perishes when cut down (vv. 5–6), and to a mere sigh (v. 9). Psalm 39:5 and 11 says God “made my days as handbreadths” and “vapor.”
But there is the hope of eternal life. There was a tree of life in the Garden of Eden, but it was made inaccessible to Adam and Eve after their disobedience (Genesis 3:22). The tree of life will be available when God establishes the new heavens and new earth (Revelation 22:2) in which also is a pure river of water of life (Revelation 22:1 and 21:1, 6).
God gives mankind the opportunity to “choose life” (Deuteronomy 30:19). God is our life and length of days (v. 20).
Jesus Christ came with the good news that God has established a way to be given eternal life through Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “[I]f you want to enter into life, keep the commandments” (Matthew 19:17). The Apostle John speaks more about life than any other gospel book, which also declares that both the Father and the Son have life in Themselves (John 5:26). Jesus declared that He is “the bread of life” (John 6:35, 48), and “the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25), and finally “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).
Considering that the number of our days is very small, we can learn wisdom. To aid you in learning wisdom, you may find the following study guides helpful: What Is the Meaning of Life?, John 3:16: Hidden Truths of the Golden Verse, and What Happens When You Die? All of these are available right here, free of charge, at Tomorrow’s World.