So Methuselah lived a total of 969 years, and then he died.
I. ESSENTIAL FEATURES OF A WALK WITH GOD. Not a life of austerity or of contemplation, removed from interests or cares of world. Noah's was not; nor Abraham's. Nor a life without fault. Elijah was "of like passions as we are;" and David; and St. John declares, 1 John 1:8-10.
1. It is a life of faith, i.e. a life in which the word of God is a real power. Mark in Hebrews 11. how faith worked in different circumstances. To walk with God is to trust him as a child trusts; from belief of his fatherhood, and that he is true. With texts before us such as John 3:16; 1 John 1:9; 1 John 2:2, why are any not rejoicing? Or with such as John 4:10; Luke 11:13, why are any not asking and receiving to the full? God puts no hindrance (Revelation 3:20). But
(1) too often men do not care. To walk with God is of less importance than to be admired of men.
(2) If they do care, they often will not take God's way. The simple message (2 Corinthians 5:20; 1 John 5:11) seems too simple. They look for feelings, instead of setting God's message before them and grasping it.
2. To walk with God implies desire and effort for the good of men. In an ungodly world Enoch proclaimed the coming judgment (Jude 1:14; cf. Acts 24:25). Spiritual selfishness often a snare to those who have escaped the snare of the world. It is not the mind of Christ. It springs from weakness of faith. Knowing the gift so dearly purchased, so freely offered to all, our calling is to persuade men. Not necessarily as teachers (James 1:19), but by intercession and by loving influence.
III. ENOCH WAS TRANSLATED. But apostles and saints died. Yet think not that their walk with God was less blessed. Hear our Lord's words (John 11:26), and St. Paul (2 Timothy 1:10). Hear the apostle's desire (Philippians 1:23). Enoch walked with God on earth, and the communion was carried on above. Is not this our Savior's promise? (John 14:21-23; John 17:24). Death is not the putting off that which is corruptible; it is separation from the Lord. Assured that we are his forever, we may say, "O death, where is thy sting?" - M.
And all the days of Methuselah.
I. Take a simple survey of the age and manners of the antediluvian world. The youth of the world was the season of man's greatest age; perhaps, also, of man's greatest wickedness.
II. Draw some important lessons from this survey —
1. The agglomerative tendencies of human depravity.
2. The vanity of earthly things.
3. The power of an endless life.
4. The great natural wickedness of the heart.
5. That mere duration of years does not constitute a long life, but the fulfilment of life's ends.
6. The danger of religious procrastination.
II. LIFE HAS COME TO A CLOSE WITH MEN THROUGH ALL GENERATIONS FROM THE EARLIEST TIMES.
III. LIFE COMES TO A CLOSE IN ALL PARTS OF THE WORLD. Some places are more salubrious than others.
IV. LIFE COMES TO A CLOSE AT ALL SEASONS OF THE YEAR.
V. LIFE CLOSES AT ALL PERIODS. Death is not peculiar to any age.
VI. LIFE CLOSES IN A VARIETY OF WAYS. How many perish in the battlefield, amid all the dreadful realities of war! Many are lost by shipwreck at sea. Many lose their lives by accident on land. Far from the land of his birth and friends, pursuing his philanthropic career, John Howard finished his labours and his life. Sublimely grand must have been the exit of Thomas Chalmers; but, like that of John Foster, no human eye was permitted to see it. It was a Sabbath evening when he retired to rest, "in his most happy mood." In the morning he was found on his bedside in an attitude of repose. A peaceful smile, like a beam from the Sun of Righteousness, lingered about his face. His immortal part had soared upwards, escorted by a convoy of angels, to the better land. Thus widely diversified are the circumstances and modes of our departure. VII. THE CLOSE OF LIFE NEVER HAPPENS BY CHANCE. It is an event of Divine appointment.
VIII. THE CLOSE OF LIFE MAKES ALL THE ARTIFICIAL DISTINCTIONS OF LIFE VOID. "Death," says Dr. Donne, "comes equally to us all, and makes us all equal when it comes. The ashes of an oak in a chimney are no epitaph of that to tell me how high, or how large it was; it tells me not what flocks it sheltered whilst it stood, nor what men it hurt when it fell. The dust of great men's graves is speechless too; it says nothing, it distinguishes nothing. As soon the dust of a wretch whom thou wouldst not, as of a prince whom thou couldst not look upon, will trouble thine eyes if the wind blow it thither; and when a whirlwind hath blown the dust of the churchyard into the church, and the man sweeps out the dust of the church into the churchyard, who will undertake to sift those dusts again, and to pronounce: 'This is the patrician — this is the noble flour; and this the yeoman — this the plebeian bran!'"
IX. THE CLOSE OF LIFE IS OF INCONCEIVABLE IMPORTANCE. Our chances of preparation last while life lasts. Iris said that when Alexander encamped before a city, he used to set up a light, to give notice to those within that if they came forth to him while that light lasted, they should have quarter; but if they came not out within the given time they were to expect no mercy. Our light is burning now. It goes out when life departs. Death fixes all forever. It is this solemn fact — that death in shutting the gates of life upon us here, ushers us into the unchangeable hereafter — that accounts for the opposite experiences of men when they come to die. Voltaire said to his doctor — "I am abandoned by God and man. I will give you half of what I am worth, if you will give me six months' life." "Sir," replied the doctor, "you cannot live six weeks." "Then," said the dying man, "I shall go to hell"; and soon after expired. "I shall be glad to find a hole," said Hobbes, "to creep out of the world at." How different the anticipations of good men! "O Father of Thy beloved Son Jesus Christ!" exclaimed the martyr ; "I bless Thee that Thou hast counted me worthy to receive my portion in the number of martyrs." "I have pain," said Richard Baxter, "(there is no arguing against sense); but I have peace." "Is this dying?" said Dr. Goodwin. "How have I dreaded as an enemy this smiling friend." "The best of all is, God is with us," was John Wesley's shout of victory in the last hour. "The victory's won forever," exclaimed Dr. Payson; "I am going to bathe in an ocean of purity and benevolence and happiness to all eternity."
X. I HAVE NOW TO OBSERVE, THAT THE CLOSE OF LIFE MAY BE NEAR AT HAND. We know not the day nor the hour of the messenger's arrival.
XI. MY LAST REMARK IS THAT THE CLOSE OF LIFE DEMANDS INSTANT PREPARATION. Mark what that preparation is. What you require to fit you for death is all the same as that which you require to fit you for life.
PeopleAdam, Cainan, Enoch, Enos, Enosh, Ham, Japheth, Jared, Kenan, Lamech, Mahalaleel, Methuselah, Noah, Seth, Shem
Topics969, Dieth, Hundred, Methuselah, Methu'selah, Methuselah's, Methushelah, Nine, Sixty, Sixty-nine, Thus
Outline1. Recapitulation of the creation of man.
3. The genealogy, age, and death of the patriarchs from Adam to Noah.
22. Enoch's godliness and translation into Heaven.
25. The family line of Methuselah to Noah and his sons
Dictionary of Bible ThemesGenesis 5:27
1655 hundreds and thousands
LibraryWith, Before, After
'Enoch walked with God,'--GENESIS v. 22. 'Walk before Me.'--GENESIS xvii. 1. 'Ye shall walk after the Lord your God.'--DEUTERONOMY xiii. 4. You will have anticipated, I suppose, my purpose in doing what I very seldom do--cutting little snippets out of different verses and putting them together. You see that these three fragments, in their resemblances and in their differences, are equally significant and instructive. They concur in regarding life as a walk--a metaphor which expresses continuity, …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
After the Scripture.
Walking with God. Gen 5:24
The Epistle of Saint Jude.
Consolations against the Fear of Death.
"But it is Good for Me to Draw Near to God: I have Put My Trust in the Lord God, that I May Declare all Thy
Influences that Gave Rise to the Priestly Laws and Histories
The Promise to the Patriarchs.
Appendix xii. The Baptism of Proselytes
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