In the days before the time of the flood, men lived much longer than we do today.  There are a couple of theories as to why men lived so long, but for now, we will just consider the one who lived the longest.

There is a fun riddle that asks, “The oldest man to ever live died before his dad died.  How did he do that?  The man who lived the longest was Methuselah.  We read in Genesis 5:27, “And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years: and he died.”  He was the great-great-great-great-great-grandson of Adam and the grandfather of Noah.

Adam lived to be 930 years old. (Genesis 5:5).

Seth, Adam’s son, lived to be 912 years old. (Genesis 5:8).

Cainan lived to be 910 years old. (Genesis 5:14).

Enos lived to be 905 years old. (Genesis 5:11).

Mahalaleel lived to be 895 years old. (Genesis 5:17).

Lamech, Methuselah’s son, lived to be 777 years old. (Genesis 5:31).

I can imagine that it was very hard living in a time when a man had to kill his food, raise his crops, establish his home, mostly in tents.  Imagine doing that for over 900 years!  The Lord surely gave strength to people then so they could continue to live so long.

Let’s compare that with what we have in Psalm 90:10, “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.”  Seventy years!  That’s what the Lord has now established as the normal lifespan.  We have the words of James in James 4:14, “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.”  Here, our lives are compared to a vapor, which is here for a very brief time and then is gone.  In the light of eternity, life is, indeed, very brief.  Of course, some live short lives, while others live to be 100 years old or older.  We all have one thing in common though.  We all have an appointment with death.  Hebrews 9:27 tells us that, “…it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”  Unless the Lord returns soon, we will all die.  Because we have all sinned, we all are subject to death.  God sent His only begotten Son to die for our sins so that we might live FOREVER!  John 5:24 assures us, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, HATH EVERLASTING LIFE, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”  The Lord Jesus said in John 11:26, “And whosoever liveth and believeth in me SHALL NEVER DIE.”

Eternal life is yours to possess if you put your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for the sins of all.  Methuselah lived for 969 years, yet you can live much, much longer than that when you have Christ as your savior.

So, how did Methuselah, the oldest man to ever live, die before his father died?  His father was Enoch, and he never died!  Genesis 5:22-24 says, “And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.”  (424.2)