Older Than Methuselah

Genesis 5:25-27 (New International Version)
When Methuselah had lived 187 years, he became the father of Lamech. And after he became the father of Lamech, Methuselah lived 782 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Methuselah lived 969, and then he died. 

“He’s older than Methuselah!” I remember hearing that phrase as a kid, and not having a clue what it meant. Then I read our passage for today from Genesis. Nine hundred sixty-nine years! It’s a lifespan that is almost inconceivable to us.

Here’s an interesting little tidbit about Methuselah. He was 187 when his son Lamech was born, and Lamech was 182 when Noah was born. Genesis 7:6 tells us that Noah was an even 600 years old when God sent a flood to cover the earth. Quick math: 187+182+600=969. That means Methuselah died the same year as the Flood. I have to admit that I hope Methuselah died before the Flood happened, so he didn’t have to spend his last few days cooped up in the ark with all those stinky animals!

But other than his amazing longevity, we don’t really know anything about Methuselah. We’re told that he had kids, and then he died. That’s it. I’m sure that there were lots of things that he did during his almost millennium-length life, but there was nothing that this biblical author felt was worth writing down.

Contrast that with Jesus, who lived a relatively very short 33 years. In that time (just 3% of Methusaleh’s lifespan), Jesus changed the direction of human history! He showed the world God’s power and grace through his actions. He demonstrated forgiveness and healing with his passionate and compassionate words. He sacrificed himself for the redemption of a sin-scarred world, and gave us hope of new life through his resurrection.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve sometimes lamented how quickly time seems to go. The hours rush by, the days pass so quickly, weeks are a blur, and before I know it a year has passed by! But here’s the truth: we have exactly the time we need to accomplish what God has planned for us. Jeremiah 29:11 is my favorite verse: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” Sometimes we get so caught up in the busy-ness of our day that we forget to live the joy-filled life God has prepared for us. May that not be true of us this day!

What are your hopes and dreams for your life? What might God be calling you to do with your time on earth? How can you use your gifts, talents, and resources in a positive way?

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