Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many. I instruct you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble. Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life. ~Proverbs 4:10-13 NIV
In Genesis 5:27, the word says, “Altogether, Methuselah lived a total of 969 years, and then he died.” Methuselah is the longest-lived character in the Bible.
The Bible is full of examples of people who were granted long life by the Lord. Likewise, the scriptures have plenty of examples of people whose lives were cut short because they didn’t do what God wanted. Among them are Ananias and Sapphira, in Acts chapter 5, verses 1-11:
Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet.
Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.”
When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. Then some young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him.
About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. Peter asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?”
“Yes,” she said, “that is the price.”
Peter said to her, “How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.”
At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.
Your steps will not be disrupted. When you run, you will not trip and fall. In fact, the Amplified Version translates verse 12 as, “When you walk, your steps shall not be hampered [your path will be clear and open]; and when you run, you shall not stumble.”
Instruction is the essence of God’s plan for your life. Guard it carefully. That’s quite a promise. You may not get another chance.