The quest to live longer is an old one. Around this time, we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the first known European discovering Florida---Ponce de Leon. This was at Easter time, during which in his native Spain, the cathedrals were filled with flowers to celebrate the Resurrection. Seeing all the flowers in the verdant land, he called it the land of the flower---la Florida.
He heard about the Fountain of Youth, which you can visit to this day in St. Augustine, Florida. There you can see the stone cross he and his men made to mark the year---1513.
The Fountain of Youth supposedly would rejuvenate its drinkers. Local Indians who were in great shape appeared to be the beneficiaries of this Fountain of Youth. It turns out it wasn’t the water that made them live better; it was their mating patterns and seafood diet rich in protein.
Solomon the Wise once said, “My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity.”
The promises in Proverbs are general principles we can apply to our lives. Sometimes God is His wisdom and for His sovereign purposes will take a righteous person home early, while young.
It should also be pointed out that there are exceptions to averages. Have you ever heard of the statistician who drowned in a river, the average depth of which was two feet?
But, meanwhile, as a general principle, those who live godly lives are spared all sorts of hardships in this life and all sorts of problems that the Creator desires to spare us from. His commands are not to restrict us, but for our good---much like a loving father who wants his children to obey for their safety and well-being.
What’s interesting is to see that scientists today are discovering empirical data pointing to a similar conclusion to the principle of long life as a reward for godly living.
For instance, in www.webmd.com, under the subheading “Go to Church, Live Longer,” they report on one of many studies that have consistently found the same thing. Regular church attendance adds to life’s quality and longevity. Of course, it’s not the physical act of going to church, but the spiritual act of seeking God that makes the difference.
The researchers reported: “People who attend religious services at least once a week are less likely to die in a given period of time than people who attend services less often.”