“Moses was 120 years old when he died. His eye was undimmed, and his vigor unabated.”– Deuteronomy 34:7 English Standard Version (ESV)
I believe I’m beginning to understand why the majority of people get grumpier the older they get. I don’t believe they purposely choose to be that way, it just sort of happens naturally — due to extenuating circumstances. That is to say, it is part-and-parcel of growing older.
We see the notation that when Moses passed away, his eyesight was still good and both his physical and mental health were still good, also. “The exception proves the rule” and I believe Moses was just that; an exceptionally healthy man at age 120. I also believe that he was the exception that proves the rule because of his walk with God. God called to him and told him what he must do and Moses (reluctantly at first) obeyed God’s instructions.
Throughout the Bible, there are several allusions to people like Moses who were up in age (elderly) and still sharp as a tack. For me, unfortunately, I am not enjoying such clarity of mind and physical well being, because I chose to go my own way in my youth and forsake anything and everything that had to do with God. When my adopting father passed away a month after my 14th birthday, I cried out to God for solace, comfort and direction. After about two years of crying out to God and not getting a response, I decided I was going to end my life so I could have some face-time with God directly. God had other plans for me.
At age 62, I still struggle with living in loving obedience to God’s will for me (us). I am still inclined to go my own way, even though I am fully aware that it will not end well.
Although a wicked person who commits a hundred crimes may live a long time, I know that it will go better with those who fear God, who are reverent before him.” –Ecclesiastes 8:12 New International Version (NIV)
At age 62, both my physical and mental health are deteriorating to the point that it is becoming more and more difficult to get through each day without increasing difficulty. As a result, I find myself as surly as I was when I was overcome by alcoholism. It is almost like being drunk without the euphoria. It is frustrating and difficult to accept, but I have no one to blame but myself. If I had listened and stayed close to God, instead of turning away and distancing myself from him as best I could, I believe that my physical and mental health would be much better than it is now.
So what is my point? Well, it is much the same as that of what THE TEACHER declared in Ecclesiasties, 12…
Ecclesiastes 12:1-14 (NCV)
1 Remember your Creator while you are young, before the days of trouble come and the years when you say, “I find no pleasure in them.“
2 When you get old, the light from the sun, moon, and stars will grow dark; the rain clouds will never seem to go away.
3 At that time your arms will shake and your legs will become weak. Your teeth will fall out so you cannot chew, and your eyes will not see clearly.
4 Your ears will be deaf to the noise in the streets, and you will barely hear the millstone grinding grain. You’ll wake up when a bird starts singing, but you will barely hear singing.
5 You will fear high places and will be afraid to go for a walk. Your hair will become white like the flowers on an almond tree. You will limp along like a grasshopper when you walk. Your appetite will be gone. Then you will go to your everlasting home, and people will go to your funeral.
6 Soon your life will snap like a silver chain or break like a golden bowl. You will be like a broken pitcher at a spring, or a broken wheel at a well.
7 You will turn back into the dust of the earth again, but your spirit will return to God who gave it.
8 Everything is useless! The Teacher says that everything is useless.
9 The Teacher was very wise and taught the people what he knew. He very carefully thought about, studied, and set in order many wise teachings.
10 The Teacher looked for just the right words to write what is dependable and true.
11 Words from wise people are like sharp sticks used to guide animals. They are like nails that have been driven in firmly. Altogether they are wise teachings that come from one Shepherd.
12 So be careful, my son, about other teachings. People are always writing books, and too much study will make you tired.
13 Now, everything has been heard, so I give my final advice: Honor God and obey his commands, because this is all people must do.
14 God will judge everything, even what is done in secret, the good and the evil.