"The Fear of the Lord Prolongs Life"
Shep Johnson
Sunday, June 11, 2017

According to the Centers for Disease Control the average life expectancy for Americans born today is 78.8 years. And medical science is doing everything possible to extend that life expectancy even further. Today researchers are developing new medicines and new medical procedures. People in general are exercising more, changing their diet, and working to better manage stress. It seems that everyone is interested in living a longer life.

And it is perfectly normal for us to want to live a long life here on earth. God has given us a love for life and an inner determination to preserve and extend our lives. Furthermore, the longer we live here on earth the more we can do to glorify God and to advance His Kingdom.

The Bible has its own counsel for living a longer life.

Proverbs 9:10-11 (NASB95) says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. For by me your days will be multiplied, and years of life will be added to you.”

Proverbs 10:27 (NASB95) says, “The fear of the LORD prolongs life, but the years of the wicked will be shortened.”

Job 1:1 (NASB95) says, “There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job; and that man was blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil.” The Bible goes on to say that God richly blessed Job. Of course the Bible also says that God allowed Satan to afflict Job and as a result Job lost his wealth, his children, and his health. Yet Job 1:22 (NASB95) goes on to say that “Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God.”

The Book of Job teaches us that Job remained faithful to God and the Lord restored him to a greatly blessed condition. We read in Job 42:12-13 (NLT), “So the LORD blessed Job in the second half of his life even more than in the beginning. For now he had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 teams of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys. He also gave Job seven more sons and three more daughters.”

The final verse in the book of Job says that, “Job died, an old man and full of days.” Job 42:17 (NASB95). Job feared God, served Him faithfully, and God blessed him significantly. Job’s life was long and fulfilling. Obviously living a righteous life doesn’t always guarantee a long and productive life. Many Christians struggle greatly and die young, but the Bible does say that God honors godly living.

Now science seems to be affirming the value of fearing God and serving Him faithfully when it comes to the matter of longevity. According to Holly Meyer of The Tennessean, “A recent study by Vanderbilt University professor Dr. Marino Bruce has found that people who attend religious services live longer and are less stressed. ‘The findings held true across faith traditions,’ said Bruce, the associate director of Vanderbilt’s Center for Research on Men’s Health.”

“Specifically, the study says those middle-aged adults who go to church ... reduce their mortality risk by 55%.” That sounds good to me.

Proverbs 21:21 (NASB95) tells us, “He who pursues righteousness and loyalty finds life, righteousness and honor.” I’m not saying that coming to worship services every Sunday will guarantee that you live to be 100 years old. I’m just giving you some food for thought. And I think it’s worth chewing over.

Bro. Shep