Methuselah lived one hundred and eighty-seven years, and became the father of Lamech. Then Methuselah lived seven hundred and eighty-two years after he became the father of Lamech, and he had other sons and daughters. So all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred and sixty-nine years, and he died.
I remember growing up that we would be encouraged by the church to memorize Bible facts. We would even have Bible Quiz competitions between churches with teams that could compete nationally. Memorizing scripture is very valuable and if applied to life can result in changed behavior and perspective. And there is also the danger that Bible knowledge becomes Bible trivia.
One of those interesting Bible facts that kids the world over know is, who was the oldest man in the Bible? And those that are even a little more well schooled could give possible scientific reasons for his longevity. And some could go even a little further and point out his place in the lineage of Abraham and beyond. But after all of that, so what? What was the purpose of his life? What was his career? What did he accomplish beyond passing along his genes to the next of the lineage?
That is the beauty of this passage. We have no idea. We don't know what he did or who he helped. We don't even know if he was a nice guy. What we do know is that his life had a purpose. It had a purpose beyond what even he knew or realized. Every experience of his life, every decision of his life, every challenge of his life made him Methuselah. And Methuselah was the father of Lamech. He passed on to his son his life experiences. He was a part of the community that prepared the next generation. By living faithfully in the present he was preparing for the future. How? Because God has the plan.
I don't know what will happen tomorrow. I don't know how my daily life decisions are going to impact the future. I don't know in what lineage I may be included. What I do know is that when I walk in the ways of God I am preparing the future. When I do not walk in the ways of God I am destroying the future.
When I leave this earth I will be very comfortable if this was written on my tombstone, "Richard Carey...and he died". The three dots represent the totality of my life that God has given to me on this earth. When my time is done I will die with full confidence that it does not matter what people remember about my actions. My God knows. My God will use my life to prepare the future. My God will keep the story going. There is nothing more blessed than to be a line in the lineage because that God is writing the story.