Genesis 5: The ultimate statistic.

“5 This is the written account of Adam’s family line.  When God created mankind, he made them in the likeness of God. He created them male and female and blessed them. And he named them ‘Mankind’  when they were created.  When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth. After Seth was born, Adam lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Adam lived a total of 930 years, and then he died.  When Seth had lived 105 years, he became the father[b] of Enosh. After he became the father of Enosh, Seth lived 807 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Seth lived a total of 912 years, and then he died.  When Enosh had lived 90 years, he became the father of Kenan. 10 After he became the father of Kenan, Enosh lived 815 years and had other sons and daughters. 11 Altogether, Enosh lived a total of 905 years, and then he died.  12 When Kenan had lived 70 years, he became the father of Mahalalel. 13 After he became the father of Mahalalel, Kenan lived 840 years and had other sons and daughters. 14 Altogether, Kenan lived a total of 910 years, and then he died.  15 When Mahalalel had lived 65 years, he became the father of Jared. 16 After he became the father of Jared, Mahalalel lived 830 years and had other sons and daughters. 17 Altogether, Mahalalel lived a total of 895 years, and then he died.  18 When Jared had lived 162 years, he became the father of Enoch. 19 After he became the father of Enoch, Jared lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. 20 Altogether, Jared lived a total of 962 years, and then he died.  21 When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. 22 After he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked faithfully with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. 23 Altogether, Enoch lived a total of 365 years. 24 Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.  25 When Methuselah had lived 187 years, he became the father of Lamech. 26 After he became the father of Lamech, Methuselah lived 782 years and had other sons and daughters. 27 Altogether, Methuselah lived a total of 969 years, and then he died.  28 When Lamech had lived 182 years, he had a son. 29 He named him Noah[c] and said, ‘He will comfort us in the labour and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground the Lord has cursed.’ 30 After Noah was born, Lamech lived 595 years and had other sons and daughters. 31 Altogether, Lamech lived a total of 777 years, and then he died.  32 After Noah was 500 years old, he became the father of Shem, Ham and Japheth.” NIV

‘’You learn more at a funeral than at a feast—
After all, that’s where we’ll end up. We might discover something from it.’’ Ecclesiastes 7:2 ‘The Message’.

‘A man who keeps death before his eyes will at all times overcome his cowardice.’ A Desert Elder.

‘Death wonderfully concentrates the mind.’ Dr. Samuel Johnson.

‘Modern man is drinking and drugging himself out of awareness, or he spends his time shopping, which is the same thing.’ Ernest Becker (‘The denial of death’).

There is a repeated refrain throughout chapter 5: ‘’…and he died.’’ Only with regard to one man is this not said, and we will come to him eventually. But he is an exception proving the rule.

‘Death is the ultimate statistic: one out of one dies.’

Death has come into the world because of sin. What God said in the garden comes to pass before our eyes (2:1; Romans 5:12ff).

When God made man in His own image, man (both male and female, verses 1,2) was perfect. But when man conceives children in his/her own image they are inevitably sinful (3), and consequently they die.

Somebody once asked his friend: ‘Tell me, what is it you are doing with the singular gift of your life?’

What are you doing with the only life you will ever have? It’s a short life after all. It’s a short life even when it’s long.  It doesn’t matter about being remembered. It’s of no concern, really, whether or not your works are recalled. But make sure that every day you are sowing seeds which will one day bear fruit. Some of them may spring up like flowers long after you have gone. It won’t matter that there will be no label attached to them bearing your name. What does matter is that they will beautify the world.

This last week, a young lady I know said her farewells to a Christian ministry, where she has worked faithfully for a few years. Colleagues and friends turned up with cards and flowers. They ate pizza and brownies together, and they prayed with my friend. We are all thankful to God for her. Afterwards she wrote me a note, telling me about it. She told me that one bouquet of flowers was sent anonymously. She’d love to know who sent the flowers, but she probably never will. It didn’t stop them brightening up her day, though, and bringing blessing into her life.

‘Humble joy. Expectant gratitude. Active hope. Patient waiting. This is the point of the contemplation of death. This is the gift of the…pearl of great price it has to offer, if we are able to gaze long enough into the abyss. I am beginning to see this now, even if only through a glass darkly.’ Michael Yankoski: ‘The Sacred Year’, p.120. Such an attitude can be taken by someone who trusts the Jesus, who by His death conquered sin and death

PRAYER: Lord, I don’t believe morbidity glorifies you, but I am convinced that there is a sober way to live – thankful for the gift of life, and not wanting to squander it, but use invest it for eternity.