Lemuel (Hebrew: לְמוּאֵל Ləmû’ēl, “to him, El”) is the name of a Biblical king mentioned in Proverbs who apparently wrote chapter 31 of the book. This is how King Lemuel puts it: A woman’s faith in God trumps her beauty and charm. Although this chapter is dedicated to women, the element of aging that is implied in “fleeting beauty” concerns both men and women.
As nature has its seasons, so have we. Living past spring and summer, we approach the fall and winter seasons of our life. I believe we all struggle with the concept of a physical expiration date. Nobody really likes to expire. Ideally, we all want to stay fresh and young forever. On this note, there has been ongoing scientific research to raise human life expectancy to 150 and maybe 200 years – While this may sound wonderful, we know that we only postpone the inevitable.
There is an interesting story in the book of Genesis regarding our life expectancy (Genesis 6:1-3):
“When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. Then the Lord said, ‘My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.’”
I am not quite sure with whom human beings were mingling and having children with in this short paragraph of the book of Genesis, but it must have been a recipe for disaster. I believe the Lord dialed our life expectancy down to a maximum of 120 years to prevent us from going insane. And as of May 13th, 2020, the oldest known living person is Kane Tanaka of Japan, aged 117 years and 132 days.
Fighting our body’s limited lifespan is an uphill battle that we won’t win. All our physical attributes will fade. Beyond the physical, there is spiritual life. Men and women who fear the Lord know of its value. Our identity is not confined to this mortal body. We have a life to live that stretches beyond this body’s confines. Our challenge is to get in touch with the Eternal One, the One who made us. We are made to walk with Him. There is no time limit put on our friendship with God. Life with Him starts in this mortal body and continues after we have passed on. When we leave this body, the Lord assures us He has a home for us.
Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but we have the Lord forever and ever. Life by His side never ends.