As righteousness tendeth to life: so he that pursueth evil pursueth it to his own death.
A long life is as close as your Bible. It defines what God considers right or wrong (Ps 19:7-11). If you do what is right in His sight, you will live better and longer; if you reject His counsel and live a sinful life, you will suffer and die for it (Ps 1:1-6). It is up to you. The rule of this proverb is true. You cannot alter it by any means (Pr 11:21; 16:5).
How are you alive? Where did you get life? Why are you still alive today? Life is not a chance event! You were not asked if you wanted to live, but God gave you life as your Creator. He is the Potter, and you are the clay. If you do not like this arrangement, He suggests you argue it out with other broken pieces of pottery like yourself (Is 45:9-10).
Evolutionists claim baboons for parents, which means those stupid and ugly brutes are closest to them in features and wisdom. But God created all things and gave life to the first man, as even children can learn and understand (Gen 1:1; Heb 11:1,3). The only big bang in this universe’s history was what happened when God said, “Let there be light!”
God gave you your life. And He gave the baboons their lives, which is why you are you, and they are still baboons. If God gave you your life, He has the right to dictate how you live; He has the right to take your life away; He has the right to extend your life with blessings. The proverb is true. Your future depends on how well you obey His words.
This rule is so true and weighty that Solomon repeated it often – righteousness extends life, wickedness shortens life (Pr 3:2,16; 4:10; 8:36; 9:11; 10:16,27; 11:4; 12:28; 19:23). Once you know this rule, then your duty is clear – learn righteousness from the Bible and live it, and identify and reject the evil lifestyles of the foolish world around you. Simple!
If you do not believe the proverb, you are already a fool on the way to death. Check out the life expectancy of rappers and rockers, who revel in their blatant wickedness. Read the Bible warnings against drunkenness and think about all the ways it shortens lives – auto accidents, liver failure, lost jobs, fighting, provocative speech, etc. Why do Russian men live 16 years less than American men? Abuse of vodka is one reason; national atheism is another; hopeless communist thinking is a third. Become a Bible actuary!
How does sin kill? In many ways! It increases accidents through foolish risk taking. It provokes others to anger and revenge. It brings capital punishment for certain crimes. It exposes men to disease and sickness. It leads to association with dangerous men. It brings God’s supernatural judgment. It steals joy, hope, peace, and vitality from the soul.
How does righteousness tend to life? It provides contentment and peace for the soul. It brings God’s supernatural blessings. It leads to association with helpful and peaceful men. It avoids the diseases of sin. It is no crime deserving of capital punishment. It puts even dangerous men at peace with you. It reduces accidents through cautious prudence.
Some sinners live long lives, and some righteous men die young. What about that? Will you scorn the proverb (Pr 13:1; 14:6; 26:12)? God considers many factors in the length of your life. This proverb is one main factor. He may take a righteous man early in mercy (Is 57:1-2). He may allow a wicked man a portion now before eternal torment (Ps 17:14).
The world spends billions on life extension through medicine, exercise, nutrition, and other secondary factors, but wise men will rejoice at this proverb and make it the chief goal of life (Eccl 12:13-14). They will relish God’s promise to grant a good and long life to those who will merely honor their parents (Ex 20:12; Deut 5:16; Eph 6:2-3). Simple!
Righteousness also tends to eternal life, for good works, holy living, and wise conduct are evidences of election and predestination to heaven (I Thess 1:2-4; II Pet 1:5-11). Pursuing evil will eventually take every sinner to the lake of fire for eternal torment under the holy and just judgment of God. Sin has terrible consequences in this life and the next. If you have sinned in the past but now desire to live righteously, thank God for Jesus Christ, believe on Him, and live for Him, Who paid for all your sins so you can live forever!