by Pastor Lee Hemen
February 22, 2007
But his bow remained steady, his strong arms stayed limber, because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob, because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel… (Genesis 49:24)
I came back from a College/Career San Francisco Mission Conference feeling run down. It turned out to be a very bad case of the flu. And, argh, I even had a flu shot! It is amazing to me how something as tiny as a virus can knock a person out and make them into a physical wimp. We like to think we are tough, and being 55 years old soon, I still like to think I can do a lot of the things I could do when I was 30! However, the truth of the matter is far different and when you add to this something like a virulent flu bug, well you get my drift.
When we look in the Bible we discover many of the early patriarchs lived long strong lives. Some equate this to the purity of the DNA and how it had not been influenced by cosmic bombardment, the influence of sin, or intermarriage. Sure, all of that is possible, however I think they are missing a Biblical truth that God has given His people from the time of Adam on. Namely, if you walk uprightly with God He will bless you with a long life. Now I am not saying we can “name it and claim it” as we walk with God, but far too many Christians think that walking uprightly with God is just having a consistent quiet time with Him or doing the “Christian” things we are supposed to do. This is utter hogwash. It means living righteously in every area of life. Living so close to the Lord that you literally walk as He does. As Paul would declare, “For in Him we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28) This is why Paul could write with such intensity, “Oh, the depth of the riches of wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable His judgments, and His paths beyond tracing out!” (Romans 11:33) Paul could not fathom or “grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ!” (Ephesians 3:18) Yet, he longed to live long for the Lord and to walk with Him. A long life in the Lord for Paul lasted for only perhaps 66 years.
Joseph was a “fruitful vine” nourished by the living spring of God. Joseph walked in such a way that God blessed him for his walk just as He does anyone who takes the time to walk with Him. These blessings were described as being from the “Almighty, who blesses you with blessings of the heavens above, blessings of the deep that lies below, blessings of the breast and womb.” (v. 25) Joseph could depend on this promise because it relied on the fact it was from “your father’s God.” The promise God gave Joseph’s father and his father before him were his to enjoy, if he walked with God. This promise was from the Creator of the heavens and the earth!
Deuteronomy 6:2 “so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the LORD your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life”
1 Kings 3:14 “And if you walk in My ways and obey My statutes and commands as David your father did, I will give you long life.”
Psalm 91:16 “With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.”
Proverbs 3:16 “Long life is in her right hand (meaning God’s power); in her left hand are riches and honor.”
Proverbs 28:16 “A tyrannical ruler lacks judgment, but he who hates ill-gotten gain will enjoy a long life.”
Ephesians 6:3 “that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”
Each of these speaks to the biblical concept of walking with God and He would bless you with a long life. I am not advocating some Christian Science heresy here nor like I related above, a “name it and claim it” philosophy, but rather a focus of one of the blessings we may receive if we desire to walk with God in such a way that He blesses us with a long life in Him whether we live to be 110 years old or only moments. What could be better than that?
NOTE: This article is copyrighted by Pastor Lee Hemen © 2008 and the property of Pastor Lee Hemen. You are welcome to copy it, email it, or use it but please if you copy it, email it, or use it you must do so in its entirety. This devotional will follow Morning by Morning by C H Spurgeon. You may use it however you desire.