On January 8, 2019 I will become 70 years old. I have advised my family that, as part of the celebration, I would like seventy birthday presents. And, I believe I will get them! I can imagine they will go to the $ Store and buy me a ten-pack of something, open it and wrap the ten items separately, thus making it into ten gifts rather than one! And, that’s okay – – I don’t necessarily want a lot of money spent on me, I just want seventy gifts!
So, that’s the light side of turning seventy – – but there are other facets involved, too! For example, for the first time ever in my life I fixated on the fact that I was turning seventy! Now, don’t be alarmed . . . it isn’t upsetting me. I don’t feel old … I’m not depressed … I’m not physically ill … I have not lost any of my mental acuity! Yet, for some reason, I was fixating on turning seventy.
Now, while not upsetting me, the fact that I was fixating was really intriguing me. So, I set about trying to figure out why this was the case. First, I discussed it with my best friend – my wife. She informed me that it really upset her when she turned thirty, but none of her other birthdays adversely affected her. I again shared with her the fact that I’m only intrigued, not upset.
I next discussed this with several other friends, and they had no ideas either. As I continued to ponder this, it began to become a little perplexing. My next step was to discuss it with my doctor, and, lo and behold, we hit upon something! We decided that it was possible that for the most of life I have considered seventy as being old and now it was me who was turning seventy and, perhaps, becoming old!
At this point, the Holy Spirit checked in on the matter and added something new to my thought process: Psalm 90:10a (KJV) – The days of our years are threescore years and ten. Hmmmm … since a score is twenty years, it seems that we are promised … that’s right, 70 years!!!! Now, I didn’t then, nor do I now, believe that I will die in the next twelve months! After all, there are several verses which encourage me regarding continued longevity.
The first one that comes to mind is Exodus 20:12 (KJV) Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. Now, you can trust me when I tell you that I have always fulfilled the dictates of this verse and, as a result, feel that I have the right to claim the promise that goes with it.
As you research this in the scriptures, there are some pretty interesting discoveries:
- Genesis 6:3 – And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also [is] flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.
- Proverbs 9:11 – For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased.
- Isaiah 65:20 – There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old;
- Psalms 21:4 – He asked life of thee, [and] thou gavest [it] him, [even] length of days for ever and ever.
Obviously, several of these verses deal with eternal longevity, but, as you peruse these, you will note that there are several “numbers” attributed to our life span, ranging from 70 to 100 to 120! And, with a good prayer they might even be expanded, as we find in 2 Kings 20:1-6a (KJV) 20 In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz came to him, and said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live. 2 Then he turned his face to the wall, and prayed unto the Lord, saying, 3 I beseech thee, O Lord, remember now how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore. 4 And it came to pass, afore Isaiah was gone out into the middle court, that the word of the Lord came to him, saying, 5 Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of my people, Thus saith the Lord, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee: on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the Lord. 6 And I will add unto thy days fifteen years;
The GOOD NEWS is that with so many options regarding our BIBLICAL life span, even if you fixate on turning a certain age there is no need to worry about it. And, even on your death bed you might be able to claim a few more years, if, like Hezekiah, you can say, “3 I beseech thee, O Lord, remember now how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight.”