Why did people in the Old Testament live so many years? Why do we not live this many years today?
Man lived the longest before the flood took place. Notice Genesis chapter 5. Verse 5, “And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.” Verse 8, “And all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years: and he died.” Verse 11, “And all the days of Enos were nine hundred and five years: and he died.” Verse 14, “And all the days of Cainan were nine hundred and ten years: and he died.” Verse 17 “And all the days of Mahalaleel were eight hundred ninety and five years: and he died.” Verse 27, “And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years: and he died.” Verse 31, “And all the days of Lamech were seven hundred seventy and seven years: and he died.” Noah went on to live to be 950 years old, Genesis 9:29 tells us. “And all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years: and he died.” The flood is described in Genesis chapters 6-9.
Then notice after the flood takes place, how the ages drop off rapidly. Genesis 11:32 tells us that Terah (Abraham’s father) only lived to be 205 years old. “And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years: and Terah died in Haran.” We then notice that Abraham and Sarah are considered to be “old” at close to 100 years of age. Genesis 17:17 says, “Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is AN HUNDRED YEARS OLD? and shall Sarah, that is NINETY YEARS OLD, bear?” Genesis 18:11-14 refers to them being “old.” “NOW ABRAHAM AND SARAH WERE OLD and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also? And the LORD said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old? Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.” Abraham did go on to live to be 175 years old, and Sarah 127 (check out Genesis 25:7, and Genesis 23:1). Isaac died at 180 years old (Genesis 35:28); Jacob at 147 years old (Genesis 47:28); and Joseph to 110 years old (Genesis 50:22). In David’s day, it was diminished even further, Psalms 90:10 tells us it was down to 70 to 80 years old: “The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” So we can see that the length of life diminishes rapidly after the flood comes upon the earth.
The question is, “Why does the life-span of people go down so quickly after the flood?” The Bible does not say why, but some creation scientists think that it happened because they believe the atmosphere had a canopy of water before the flood came. When the Bible says in Genesis 7:11-13, “In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, AND THE WINDOWS OF HEAVEN were opened. And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights. In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark.” They believe that “the windows of heaven” being opened allowed this water to come down upon the earth at the time of the flood. Those creation scientists say that that canopy would have blocked a great deal of the ultraviolet rays that bombard people today. Also, they believe that canopy would have been like a “greenhouse”, keeping the climates of the world much more tropical-like. And also, they say that the oxygen pressure would have been greater upon earth under such conditions, causing everything to grow much faster, and cuts and wounds to heal very quickly. If you want to do some exciting study on this subject, I would encourage you to order a set of videos from Dr. Kent Hovind on “Creation Science Evangelism.” (you can find his Web Site at “http://www.drdino.com” If you have any trouble finding his site, please write back, and I will give you a mailing address) It is a set of 7 tapes that will excite your heart to see the proofs right from science that the world was created by God, and that evolution is absolutely foolish and without any proof whatsoever. In those videos, Dr. Hovind deals with why man lived longer before the flood.
And of the course the most important question is, “Are you going to live forever with the Lord, or are you going to experience the second death?” Revelation 20:12-15 says, “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Jesus is the only way to everlasting life. John 14:6 says, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 11:25 says, “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.”