For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased.
Do you want to live a long life? Lady Wisdom offers free life extension. What an offer! The world chases living longer in all sorts of ways at great expense in effort, time, and money, but wisdom can easily preserve and extend your life with only modest effort.
Do you believe the Bible? Here is a test of your character and faith. If you trust God and the Bible, then you will believe this promise from Solomon’s pen. God and men can tell if you trust God’s word by what you emphasize to preserve or extend your life.
Here is the general rule from the God of heaven – if you love and practice wisdom, you will live longer. But if you choose to ignore or reject wisdom, you must love death, for it is coming for you (Pr 8:36). It will not matter if you eat well, exercise sufficiently, and have good doctors; God will cut you down for your foolish rebellion (Pr 13:9; 24:20).
Solomon neared the end of his long personification of wisdom with this proverb (Pr 9:12; 8:1). The first person pronoun, “me,” is Lady Wisdom, referenced by similar pronouns in Proverbs 9:5. Solomon used this elegant and persuasive style to present the character and benefits of wisdom, which include the sure promise of long life. Are you interested?
Recall Solomon’s dream from the LORD (I Kgs 3:5-15). Readers for 3000 years have wished they could make his choice for wisdom and receive the additional benefits of riches and long life (I Kgs 3:13-14). Yet that is exactly what Solomon offered you here. By the inspiration of the same LORD! Riches and long life (Pr 8:18,21; 9:11)! All you have to do is choose wisdom as he did, and she offers these things as additional benefits.
Solomon observed more about life and analyzed it better than any ten of the world’s great thinkers. He summarized his findings without error in these proverbs, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (Eccl 1:12-18; 12:8-11). He observed life and death, and he saw that wisdom resulted in living longer, but folly would cut your days short (Eccl 7:17; 8:13).
Careful Bible readers know that general rules have exceptions, especially when God’s dealings with any individual person involve many different factors. Therefore, the righteous may die young as a mercy from God (Is 57:1-2), and the wicked may live long and fat lives as His judgment (Pr 1:32; Ps 17:13-15). This proverb is still the general rule, all other factors being equal in comparing two or more persons. Trust God and the Bible.
Christians sometimes forget the cause of death, though they should know better and never forget. The world fears dying, and it has rejected the Creator and His manual about their origin, nature, and future, so they research, promote, and worship diet, exercise, and various forms of medicine as protectors. They comfort themselves they can live longer than those around them, though God is not in all their thoughts (Ps 10:4; 49:10-13).
But the cause of death is sin! It is not eating too much fat or sugar. It is not the sedentary lifestyle of the 21st century; it is not poor health care. It is sin! You cannot postpone death by reading another book on good health or trying alternative medicine. Death is caused by Adam’s sin and your sin (Rom 5:12-14; 6:23). Sin causes life expectancy to be 73 (Ps 90:10), and your rejection of wisdom shortens that (Eccl 7:17; 8:13). Believe it!
Every father wants his children to have long lives, so Solomon stated this rule about life extension to his son several times (Pr 3:2,16; 4:10; 8:35; 10:27; 28:16). He saw that wisdom tended to life in those that had it (Pr 10:16; 11:4,19; 12:28; 14:27; 19:23). Even worldly men know that hard living – foolish and wicked living – shortens men’s lives.
But there is another factor beyond the natural consequences of folly and wisdom; there is the sovereign government of God. He gives long life supernaturally for wise choices like honoring parents (Eph 6:1-3) and showing mercy to brute creatures (Deut 22:7). Your Creator can easily shorten or lengthen your life, and your obedience is a key factor.
Wisdom can preserve your life naturally and practically by avoiding the hard life of sinners that shortens their days, by avoiding the sword of justice of the government avenging crimes, by avoiding the accidents that often claim the foolish, by avoiding the diseases associated with certain sins, and by avoiding the sovereign judgment of God, Who judges every sinner, sometimes by taking his or her life early.
True wisdom also lays hold of eternal life and makes ones calling and election sure, for endless days and perpetual years are the elect’s future, which is life extension far beyond any time added here on earth (I Tim 6:17-19; II Pet 1:10-11; I Thes 4:17). Christians know the real cure for the real cause of death – Jesus took away all their sins. And He is coming again soon to lift the bondage of corruption and decay from the entire universe.