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Lifespan in the Book of Genesis

At what age is a person old? In the Book of Genesis chapter 5 we are told that Adam lived 930 years. This information is followed by a list of many other people and how long they lived.  I don’t think that it matters how long we live, but rather what we do with our lives.

The list presented in Genesis 5 is a genealogy. Nothing was mentioned about any of these people because there was not anything extraordinary about them. Many people are turned off saying that no one can live so long. I do not believe that the questions that we should be asking are:

  • Why did these people live so long?
  • Did they really live so long?

I believe that the most important question is, “What did they do with their lives?” Since the Book of Genesis does not tell us about their lives most commentators will agree that there was not much to tell.

Time is a Gift

An unknown author wrote: “Ordinary people think merely of spending time. Great people think of using it.” What we do with our lives is much more important than how much time we have and we never know when our time will be up. In order to be great, we must use our time wisely, and that does not come automatically. We must actually give consideration to how we will use our time. Time is a gift and we should not waste it.

Using our time well

I make shopping lists all of the time in order to plan what I am going to buy at the supermarket. It’s sad, but true, that I rarely take the time to make a list, or a plan for my life. I am guilty of far too often, just living my life. I, like most people, need to make the time to really think about how we are going to use our precious time on earth. Jeanne Louise Calment is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as having lived the longest at 122 years, 164 days. But those 122 years plus do NOT tell us anything about her life. We need to take time out and plan – just like we plan for what to buy at the supermarket so that we don’t forget things or go up and down the aisles aimlessly. 122 years may sound like a long time, but if you don’t use it well it doesn’t matter. Let’s make a plan to live life to its fullest and let’s help our children do the same.

Life Plan

Have your child make a list of a few things that they want to accomplish with a plan of how to get there. They may want to make a time line, a board game or a power point presentation starting from where they are today to where they want to get to. Perhaps they want to make a business card with a slogan of their goal. Let them make an actual card and have them look at it every once in a while and talk about how they have been moving toward their goal. Of course they can check out the other Bible Study Tools.

The main thing is don’t just live: make your life meaningful.

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