Lessons from Methuselah

Passage: Hebrews 11:5

Methuselah was the longest living person on earth. He lived for 969 years!

The oldest tree in the world is called the Methuselah tree in White Mountains, Southern California. It is 4 770 years old in 2020.

Methuselah means ‘man of the javelin’ or ‘sent one’ and it also implies ‘death sword’. Enoch was his father, Lamech his son and Noah his grandson. The name Methuselah is made up of three words, ‘mat’ meaning man, and ‘shelach’, meaning missile or weapon or ‘to send something or someone’. The other word is ‘metu’ derived from ‘mot’ meaning death.

A sent one is like a missile in God’s hand. It is a weapon in God’s armory. It is interesting that the longest living man on earth was a ‘sent one’! In the year he died the flood came. The flood was also sent to accomplish God’s wrath.

Enoch was in the antediluvian period. (Genesis 4:7) He lived 365 years and walked with God before he was taken by God. (Genesis 5:21-24) He entered heaven alive. Hebrews 11:5 ‘he did not see death’. John 8:52, ‘If someone keeps My word, he will never sea death.’ Martin Luther the great Reformer, had this verse open next to his death bed.

Elijah and Moses were also taken up by God. (II Kings 2:11) God took Moses away and Elijah was taken up by a whirlwind after a chariot of fire separated between him and Elisha that followed him.

Enoch was the 7th from Adam. So, he might have known Adam! (Jude 1:14, 15) Enoch means dedicated or disciplined. It takes dedication and discipline to walk with God!

Lamech means poor. His son was Noah. Noah means ‘rest’. He prophesied over Noah that he would bring rest and comfort. (Genesis 5:28-31) He was 777 years old when he died. He lived 595 years after Noah was born.

Adam lived till he was 930, Seth, his son, till he was 912, Enosh 905, Jared 962 and Noah 950.

Enoch prophesied Christ’s return before Christ even came to the earth! He saw the end from the beginning. ‘Behold the Lord comes with ten thousand of his angels to execute judgment upon the earth.’

As Jesus took the Old Testament believers captive after he died and went into the depths of the earth to take captivity captive, so He will take the believers who are expecting His return captive and draw them up by the power of His Holy Spirit to meet Him in the air! The Old Testament saints were expecting Him and died without seeing Him. But He came to them during the 3 days His body was in the grave and took them out of the prison and led them out with triumph. So, we are looking forward to being rescued by the Lord when He returns. Those who have this expectation, cleanse themselves continually to be ready for His return. (Bob Dylan has a great blues song, ‘When He Returns’, on His ‘Saved’ album – have a listen!)

Enoch’s city is called Zion (for the pure in heart). He was a righteous man, filled with the Holy Ghost and taught people how to repent and obey the commandments of God or expect punishment. People were afraid of him. Sinners spoke harsh things against Enoch, because he condemned them for their wickedness and ungodliness. Isn’t it strange how people always say they are scared of someone that is a prophet? Isn’t it because they are afraid of being exposed?

When I meditated on the longevity of these Old Testament Patriarchs something struck me: God cared for them for all their lives. God never left nor forsook them! We think 70 years is old, but they lived for over 900 years! If God can take care of them for 900 years, He can certainly take care of us for 80 or 90 years! We can have confidence that God will take care of us in this life.

In many countries where I taught people the principles of reform they would thank me for the instruction and then pray over me that God would spare me to be 100 years old so that I can go to all the nations of the world to teach people what God had taught me.

Deuteronomy 31:6 God promises: ‘I will never leave you. Be strong and courageous, for the Lord your God goes with you, wherever you go!’

Hebrews 13:5 warns us to keep our lives free from the love of money (greed) and that we should learn to be content for the Lord our God will never leave us. Philippians 4:11, ‘learn to be content’.

Because we have God’s promise that He will never leave or forsake us, we can boldly say, ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ (Philippians 4:13) The word ‘strengthen’ is in the present continuous tense, that means He always continues to strengthen me, day by day! God is continually strengthening you spirit, soul & body.

All these patriarchs faced insurmountable challenges in their lifetime and overcame them all because God was with them. God never left time alone. He was with them in all their distresses. Joshua faced incredible odds when he had to take over the leadership of Israel from Moses. He had to cross the Jordan River like Moses crossed the Red Sea. He had to conquer Jericho, a strongly walled fortress, and he had to conquer all the other nations in the Promised Land one by one. God helped him all the time – for as long as he lived!

What is the lesson we can learn from the ancient patriarchs? God wants us to know unequivocally that we can trust Him. and He will lead us to victory under all circumstances!

Even if you face insurmountable challenges, God will help you overcome and be victorious. We are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ our Lord.

God promised Joshua that He would be with him all the time:

Joshua 1:5: ‘no man will be able to stand before you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you.’

I Kings 8:57 – He will never leave or abandon us. He loves us perfectly.

Genesis 28:15 – I will keep you wherever you go and bring you back to this place. I will not leave you until I have done what I promised you. I use this text whenever I travel on missions. It gives me assurance that I shall return! By the grace of God, I have now been to 124 nations and we reached 145 nations through live streaming from our home base church in Cape Town. Other Harvester ministers have reached nations I have not been to yet, especially Nicolas Schmidt, from Paris, who has reached North African nations and South American nations I have not been to yet. We hope to reach all the nations of the world in our lifetime with the Gospel of the Kingdom and the message of apostolic reformation. Even now during lockdown Apostle Aje is preaching from his home on live stream Harvesters and reaching thousands in other lands.

God will take care of us and God will take care of you because we are sent ones – apostle means, ‘sent one’, like Methuselah, for as long as God spares our lives, because we are fulfilling Jesus’ Great Commission to go to other lands and we are keeping His Great Commandment to love!

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