Disappointment and Longevity

We get disappointed when our expectations are not met.  We commonly expect that, if we honor God, we will live long and prosper, but God desires something better for us.Live Long and ProsperMy comments will follow the pattern I laid out yesterday.

My son, do not forget my teaching,
But let your heart keep my commandments,
For length of days and years of life
And peace they will add to you (Prov 3:1-2, ESV).

Command: Obey God’s commands.

Consequence: Long life and peace.

Our meager expectation: People who serve God won’t die young.

God’s unbelievable reward: an unbreakable relationship with God.  In Proverbs, “life” often refers to more than simply having a heartbeat (Prov 3:21-22, 4:13, 8:35, etc.).  Waltke comments that the meaning of “life” in Proverbs is “commonly misrepresented and/or misunderstood” as temporal life that ends with clinical death.[1]  As Kidner states, “In several places it is not too much to say that ‘life’ means fellowship with God.”[2]

Echoes: To give a picture of his everlasting relationship with us, God often lets the righteous live to a good old age (Gen 25:8) and cuts short the lives of the wicked (Gen 38:7).  But the essence of the reward is not about old age.  If you expect every servant of God to live to old age, you will be disappointed.

Essence: God sent his Son Jesus to die on a cross so he might give us life.  Eternal life means knowing him (John 17:3).  When we seek life anywhere else, God graciously steps in and disappoints us.  He leads us back to what’s best for us: loving Jesus and keeping his commandments (1 John 3:16, 23-24).

How might Jesus’ untimely death help you refashion your disappointment when someone’s life is cut short?


[1] Proverbs 1-15, p. 104.

[2] Proverbs, p. 53.

Disappointment and Relationships
How to Refashion our Disappointment