That Your Days May Be Prolonged

15 May 2010

Recently there has been news that a pill to help you live past 100 may be available in two years. Fox News was one of the news sources that carried the story.  Here is a quote from the article:

The New York professor's [Nir Barzilai] own team at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine has pinpointed genetic variants that let people live to a "ripe old age."

That story got me to thinking... What does G-d's Word say about how we can live to a ripe old age?  I was definitely surprised as I searched the Torah.

Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, that your days may be prolonged and that it may go well with you on the land which the LORD your God gives you. (Deuteronomy 5:16)

The Shulchan Aruch, a manual on traditional chalakah, provides this:

What constitutes "honor?" One must provide them with food and drink and clothing. One should bring them home and take them out, and provide them with all their needs cheerfully. - Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 143:7

It is not the merely act of doing these things that is critical but the heart of humility and service that a person should have in doing them that marks a disciple of the Master.  (Galatians 5:13)

What else does Scripture say to provide us with guidance on a long life?

You shall walk in all the way which the LORD your God has commanded you, that you may live and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you will possess. (Deuteronomy 5:33)

Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the judgments which the LORD your God has commanded me to teach you, that you might do them in the land where you are going over to possess it, so that you and your son and your grandson might fear the LORD your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged. (Deuteronomy 6:1-2)

You shall therefore keep every commandment which I am commanding you today, so that you may be strong and go in and possess the land into which you are about to cross to possess it; so that you may prolong your days on the land which the LORD swore to your fathers to give to them and to their descendants, a land flowing with milk and honey. (Deuteronomy 11:8-9)

Here we see the commandment to walk in the way which G-d has commanded us... to be in obedience to His commandments.  Just as Messiah Yeshua walked in this way so, too, we should follow in His footsteps (Matthew 28:19-20).

There was another reference to prolonging one's days that really piqued my interest:

If you happen to come upon a bird's nest along the way, in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs, and the mother sitting on the young or on the eggs, you shall not take the mother with the young; you shall certainly let the mother go, but the young you may take for yourself, in order that it may be well with you and that you may prolong your days.  (Deuteronomy 22:6-7)

How can shooing away a mother bird before taking her eggs prolong our days?

By acting with mercy and not taking the mother with her eggs or young then we are showing mercy to the weakest of creatures.  Just as G-d has shown us mercy so, too, we are to be merciful.

This final reference definitely made sense:

You shall have a full and just weight; you shall have a full and just measure, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you. (Deuteronomy 25:15)

Acting justly in our business and personal matters is another way to prolong our days.  This one seems entirely practical... people are less likely to shoot you or otherwise harm you if you are honest in your business dealings.

Let's summarize:

Acting justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly in obedience to G-d.  That is how we can prolong our days according to Scripture.  Hmmm... that sounds rather familiar:

He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.  (Micah 6:8 NIV)

 

Last modified on 14 January 2017

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