Why Die Before Your Time?
It is not helpful to overly conflate old covenant principles with new covenant realities, but believers can learn something from the viewpoint of the Old Testament.
As we study the text, we discover that the ancients concluded that a long life was a privilege of the righteous. Several passages indicate that those who love God will experience a full life.
Job’s friend, Eliphaz, for example, expressed hope that amid Job’s calamity that he would “live to a good old age. You will not be harvested until the proper time!” (Job 5:26).
It was also said that Abraham died peacefully “in a good old age, an old man full of years” (Genesis 25:8).
Moses declared, “Honor your father and your mother so that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God has given you” (Exodus 20:12).
David affirmed, “He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation” (Psalm 91:15-16).
Solomon wrote, that through a life of wisdom and righteousness, “years will be added to your life” (Proverbs 9:11).
As the Old Testament affirms longevity to the righteous, it also asserts that the wicked will be cut short.
For example, The Psalmist stated, “You, O God, will bring down the wicked into the pit of corruption; bloodthirsty and deceitful men will not live out half their days” (Psalm 55:23).
Solomon reaffirms this reality warning “Do not be overly wicked, and do not be a fool— why die before your time?” (Ecclesiastes 7:17).
In the Bible, death was considered an unnatural phenomenon that exhibited a separation from God as well as a disruption of his covenantal blessings. It was something to be evaded by the righteous ones.
Fortunately, we don’t live in an era of harsh judgment or have to contend with punitive displays. But the underlying principle endures, sincere love for God often extends your life.