In an age with an increased focus on the costs of healthcare, our verse might sound like a solution. But we are a pill culture. If you go to the doctor, they will give you a pill as the solution. So if we could put the LORD in a pill, our society might take it!
As we read verse 27, we must remember that this is a general principle, not an absolute rule. Some wicked people live long lives. Some righteous people die young. But as a general rule, following the LORD will lengthen our lives. Studies have shown this. And it makes sense. If we don’t abuse alcohol, chances are we will die younger. If we have areas lacking discipline, it does shorten our life.
I have found that people who love the LORD are happier. Guess what, studies have shown the same thing! The outcome of obedience is joy. When we do what we know we should do, the inner conflicts subside. Contentment takes over. The struggle and strife resolve. And obedience is a healthy choice.
But the wicked don’t have this. I am sure you know some people who seem to get increasingly bitter as they get older. The older they get, the more people want to avoid being with them. Like the movie Grumpy Old Men, even the grumpiest can have moments of likeability. We often excuse their grumpiness, putting up with the rough edges and rotten core.
I don’t mind that people think I use God as a crutch. I am a cripple! My moral compass is broken. My ability to stay upright is set on “fall” mode. But thanks be to God who leads me in triumph! Because of what He has done, I now have the ability to choose to do the right thing with the right motive at the right time. I can be obedient.
The wicked are not so fortunate. They are stuck on “fall” mode. They may occasionally stumble on a correct outcome, but their motive isn’t the glory of God. In fact, if they knew they would bring glory to God by the choice, many of them would choose some other alternative out of rebellion.