10 Ways to Die Early

tensionThere seems to be a small tension in scripture concerning the number of days we will live. From one perspective, we get a picture of God who knows everything about us, the number of hairs we have (Luke 12:7), and even the number of days we will live.

“Man’s days are determined; you (God) have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed” (Job 14:5).

At the same time, throughout scripture, we are warned that we can actually DIE before our time:

 Be not over much wicked, neither be thou foolish: why shouldest thou die before thy time?

Ecclesiastes 7:17

“Bloody and deceitful men will not live out half their days; but I will trust in You (for a long life).”
 Psalm 55:23:

“If you walk in My ways, and keep My commandments … then I will LENGTHEN your DAYS.” 1Kings 3:14

Questions are often asked after an early death of a family member or friend. In the scriptures, we are often promised long time, if we obey and walk in the Lord’s ways.

Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

Ephesians 6:2-3

With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

Psalms 91:16

If those scriptures are taken literally, one faced with a loved one’s death would ask, “Why did my mom, friend, aunt, or child die early, even if they were whole-heatedly dedicated to Jesus and walking in His ways?” Answers to such questions are often difficult, especially when we notice the wicked living to full age. The Psalmist had such a question, and so did Job:

I have seen a wicked and ruthless man flourishing like a luxuriant native tree; Psalm 37:35

Why do the wicked live on, growing old and increasing in power? They see their children established around them their offspring before their eyes. Their homes are safe and free from fear; the rod of God is not on them. Their bulls never fail to breed;
their cows calve and do not miscarry. They send forth their children as a flock; their little ones dance about. They sing to the music of timbrel and lyre; they make merry to the sound of the pipe. They spend their years in prosperity and go down to the grave in peace. Job 21:7-13

This issue becomes even more complicated, when we realize Jesus, the only perfect human being to live, fully obedient and totally without sin, died at the age of 33, way before “full age.” And, this Jesus promised His believers that they will be persecuted, and went on to say,

“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when men cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me. Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matthew 5:10-12

As we ponder on these promises and truths, a scripture that brings comfort to me is 2 Corinthians, 4:8-11.

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.

As to the fate of the wicked, though it may seem life is unfair, be certain and know that life is eternal, and the Almighty, Loving God is also a God of justice. Though justice might not be visible here today, in time, every wrong will be made right. The Bible promises,

For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil. Ecclesiastes 12:14

Then those who feared the Lord spoke with one another. The Lord paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared theLord and esteemed his name. “They shall be mine, says the Lord of hosts, in the day when I make up my treasured possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his son who serves him. Then once more you shall see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him. Malachi 3:16-18

We must trust God, and know that as long as we are breathing, He is still on the throne, and in control. At the same time, we must also know that we live in a world where God gave us an ability to choose, and our choices have consequences. So, if you are still looking for 10 sure ways you can die early, here they are:

Follow these 10 suggestions, and your early death is guaranteed.  

die early

1. Walk around with a broken spirit & stay depressed, without seeking healing and restoration. Such a spirit will lead to “dried bones” which will kill you.

A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones. Proverbs 17:22

2. Pursue evil

As righteousness leads to life, so he who pursues evil pursues it to his own death. Proverbs 11:19

 3. Be wicked

The fear of the Lord prolongs days,
But the years of the wicked will be shortened.
Proverbs 10:27

 4. Be foolish

Do not be overly wicked, Nor be foolish: Why should you die before your time? Ecclesiastes 7:17

5. Disregards the commandments of the Lord

My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart,  for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity. Proverbs 3:1-2

6. Disregard and destroy your body, with such things as substance abuse

“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s..” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

7. Choose some dishonest, immature role models to imitate, follow

You must have accurate and honest weights and measures, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you. Deuteronomy 25:15

8. Disobey your parents

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise – “that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Ephesians 6:1-3

9. Be deceitful

But thou, O God, shalt bring them down into the pit of destruction:bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in thee. Psalms 55:23

10. Don’t choose the Lord to be your refuge; other options for refugee include yourself, your possessions, your friends (boyfriend/girlfriend), your government, your career, etc.

I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life will I satisfy him
and show him my salvation.” Psalms 91:2, 15-16

Jesus has come to give us life. He said, “I live, and you shall live also!” In other words, we can enjoy life and life abundantly, in Christ! The Bible also says

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10

Certainly, “life abundantly” does not necessarily mean riches, health & wealth; it means Jesus will be enough for us, in the midst of all circumstances. And when Jesus is enough, our daily decisions are quite different.