The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Longevity and progressive revelation

Recently, I’ve not been able to get a question out of my tiny head. It’s this:
Why, in scripture, is longevity seen as a BLESSING??
I mean, if the next life is peace and joy, then why would God promise long life in this ‘veil of tears’ for being righteous? It doesn’t make much sense to me.
‘Honour Thy father and mother that…etc.’

My thoughts are that the longevity promises are all Old Testament, where there was little concept of life after death, whereas in the New Testament St Paul acknowledges that he’d rather be in the next life if he was only thinking selfishly.
If I am correct then isn’t this another example of progressive revelation and the importance of allowing the New Testament to take supreme priority over the Old even to the point of accepting that the Old, in many respects, was wrong?

Any thoughts would be appreciated

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My only thought is: that’s a very good point.

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Is living a long life a blessing or a curse?

Longevity: Blessing Or Curse?

Just a footnote, folks. It could be that when God blessed folks with long life, it also comes with good health. Just a thought

On the other hand, the zombies of Z-Hell (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9) - might have “longevity”. But I really don’t think, they will enjoy it much!

That really is interesting. Lets combine that with the fact that God appears to have tweaked the genetic clock on physical sustainability at least twice according to scripture.

Then the LORD said, “My Spirit will not contend with (remain in) humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.” Gen 6:3

As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, Or if due to strength, eighty years, Yet their pride is but labor and sorrow; For soon it is gone and we fly away. Psalms 90:10

Considering how long people used to live before the flood, life is considerably more brief.

But here is a perspective on why long life would be considered a blessing both then and now. One of the greatest joys of life is to have love. And a long life puts us in contact with our descendants and allows us to love and bless them and share our experience. To be cut off from the earth when our grandchildren are young would seem very sad. But to have grandparents who live to see us bear our own children is truly a blessing.
My great grandfather Hayes was a itinerant preacher and a carpenter. He built every church he pastored with his bare hands.
I met him one time that I know of. There is a black and white photo from 1967 of him in his 90s holding a tiny new born baby in his lap. That baby was me. He died two years later.
My grandmother gave me a plaque presented to him by the city commemorating 52 years of pastoring and preaching and I keep that in my office at the church.
I feel that he likely said a prayer over me as he held me in his hands. Perhaps his mantle fell to me as he left the earth.
Theres something about living long enough to transfer blessings to our descendants. I pray blessings on my children’s children even now though they are not yet born.
Sorry, this was supposed to be theological and here I am getting sentimental.

You’ve given me food for thought PastorMark and I appreciate that, but even though we acknowledge that we can encounter/experience love and compassion in this present life, those moments are only part of the tapestry which includes much grief and suffering.
If St Paul says:
23 I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far;
. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen , nor ear heard, neither have entered into
the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. .

then surely the New Testament suggests that our present existence is much worse than our future one and longevity is more of a hardship to be endured than a blessing?

There is a truth to that. One Russian woman who lived to 115 says she feels cursed.

Yes, I remember a very old man telling me how lonely he felt even though he had people around him. He alone had experienced life as it was in his childhood.
We have just commemorated 75 years since D-day. I wonder if those who gave their lives would be pleased with how we have handled our freedom.

Well the tough thing about freedom is that it demands tolerance of that which does not agree with God. But to use laws to enforce biblical morality turns us into Crusaders all over again.

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