Has God appointed a time for us to die?
Yes, God has appointed a time for every person to die. Psalm 90:3 and 10 provides a quick summary, that our lives are controlled by God.
You turn man back into dust . . . Psalm 90:3 (NASB)
We have finished our years like a sigh.
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. Psalm 90:9b-10 (NASB)
The message is simple. God turns us back to dust and there is a limit on the years of our life. Some of us may live for seventy years, others may live to eighty years, some may live longer. But God has set a limit on the length of our lives.
Job 14:1-6 – God Has Determined Our Days
Job 14 is about life, death and judgment. We are told that the day of our death is controlled by God. That is the message of Job 14:1-6.
Man, who is born of woman,
Is short-lived and full of turmoil.
Like a flower he comes forth and withers.
He also flees like a shadow and does not remain.
You also open Your eyes on him
And bring him into judgment with Yourself.
Who can make the clean out of the unclean?
Since his days are determined,
The number of his months is with You;
And his limits You have set so that he cannot pass.
Turn Your gaze from him that he may rest,
Until he fulfills his day like a hired man. Job 14:1-6 (NASB)
The opening verse reminds us that our lives are very short in the grand scheme of time. We are like a flower that blooms and withers. Those who have flowers in their yard have noticed that flowers bloom and then the blooms die usually in several days. It is the rare flower that last longer. We are like a shadow. How long does a shadow last? Shorter than the time that the bloom of a flower lasts.
Next we are told that at the end of our extremely short and empty life, God will judge us (Hebrews 9:27). It is stated that judgment will not go well with some men and women because they have died in their sins are still unclean. That is, they are sinners, wicked and do not obey God’s standard. Who can make them clean? The answer is given! No one! They will go to hell. They will go to hell because they are pleased with themselves.
Life and death has just been described. While the message has been bad news, the worst news is presented next. We cannot extend the length of our days and live. Our months and days are numbered by God. God has set a limit on our days. We cannot extend our life beyond the limit God has determined. The message is that medicine is great, but man cannot and will not be able to live beyond the days God assigned to our lives.
Job 14:22 – God Allows Our Bodies To Cease Functioning
Why do we die? The answer is that God had warned Adam that if he ate from the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, he would die (Genesis 2:16-17). Genesis 3:1-12 reports that Adam disobeyed. As a result he died spiritually, and his physical body began dying. Romans 5:12-14 reveals that as a result of Adam’s sin, the entire human race is born spiritually dead and begins the process of dying physically at birth. That explains why Job 14:22 says,
But his body pains him,
And he mourns only for himself. Job 14:22 (NASB)
His body declines and stops working as it once did. Ecclesiastes 12:1-7 describes the dying process as various body functions fail. Verse 7 says that God gave us life and takes it back. Job 14:10-12 says that when a man dies, he lies down, breathes his last and never rises again. Then the question is asked that should cause every person to be uncomfortable. Where is he? Where does he or she go next?
How should we respond? First, remember that God does not reveal everything to us. He will not reveal how long we will live or the day of our death, and we cannot change His plans.
The secret things belong to the LORD our God . . . Deuteronomy 29:29 (NASB)
For the LORD of hosts has planned, and who can frustrate it? Isaiah 14:27 (NASB)
Therefore, let us commit to give God glory in everything that we do. We should pray as Moses in Psalm 90:12
So teach us to number our days,
That we may present to You a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12 (NASB)
Is it possible to delay the day of our death? The answer is yes. In 2 Kings 20:1-6, King Hezekiah asked God to extend his life fifteen years and God did. Therefore, if you desire to live longer, you can ask God to extend the days of your life; just remember that He may not.
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