Does it count how we safeguard our lives, practice healthy living and other cautious measures to be safe from death or it solely depends on the number of days God has set for each one of us? Does God need a thug, an accident or anything unnatural to fulfill His word of having numbered the days of the living? I will give the answer later in this post.
I will unpack some verses and add some thoughts I collected when discussing the demise of a husband to one of our church mothers that was killed by a thug in about five years ago. The question this woman had was as already highlighted in the opening paragraph.
- Job 14:5 ‘A person’s days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed’. We may argue and that Job had gave in to natural death after he had been tormented by the devil in various ways. He might have suffered tremendous pain that he believed should have killed him but he did not die. There is an idiom in my country that says, ‘pain does not kill a person’.
- Psalm 139:16 ‘Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them’. Again, this verse is David’s utterance upon realising that the source of life is God. It might have been his experiences with God that that made write these words.
- Genesis 6:3, ‘Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” Later on in the book of Psalm 90:10, the number changes to 70 years.
Considering the things that happen around us, one can be tempted to doubts the message given by these verses. Take for instance some death cases where we believe the victims died by their own fault. Take for example a person that is bitten by a snake, one who accidentally falls from a tree and die, one who dies as a result of a doctor’s negligence, etc.
Zeroing to real life cases, I will pick a few celebrity deaths that the world can relate to.
Nicknamed The Black Dahila, Elizabeth Short was one taken advantage of by the media for her very gruesome death, she was found cut in half at a LA park. At the time of the murder, Elizabeth Short was living in the LA area working as a waitress with hopes of making it big as an actress. Her body was found on January 15, 1947, completely drained of blood and scrubbed clean. There was only one witness to the murder and he could only identify a black sedan at the scene. Many false leads lead to a very frustrated LA police force and resulted in the longest unsolved murder in the city’s history. In 2013, the case reemerged on the headlines as a new suspect was identified in a San Bernardino Sun newspaper article.
Bruce Lee revolutionized the kung fu movie for the world. He used true technique in his movies to bring a sense of realism never before seen. In May 1973, Lee experienced seizures and headaches while doing studio work in Hong Kong, earning him a trip to the hospital. Later that year, the symptoms resurfaced while visiting the home of a fellow actor. In an attempt to help, the actor gave Lee a dose of Equagesic, a prescription pain reliever. Lee laid down to take a nap and never woke up. He was only 32 at the time so an autopsy was ordered. The official cause of death was an allergic reaction to Equagesic, stopping his heart. However, many believe that Lee was killed by the Triads in retaliation for the Kung Fu secrets revealed in his movies. One more theory was that Lee had a curse leveled against his family which lead to his death (and the death of his son years later).
Also known as 2pac, Tupac Shakur was one of the best selling recording artists of all time with over 75 million albums being sold. His music was appealing to large numbers as it spoke of the struggles facing the inner city. His family was heavily involved in the Black Panthers, which was also reflected in his rap lyrics. In 1996, Shakur was shot in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas. He died six days later due to complications from the gunshot wounds. No one solved the mystery of the killers, but there were rumors that it was a retaliation for earlier incident Shakur was involved in. It was also premised that Notorious B.I.G. was involved in the shooting because he was in a East Cost- West Coast rivarly with Shakur at the time. (reference link)
Tebogo Benedict Madingoane
Top Mafikizolo band singer Tebogo Benedict Madingoane was shot dead in a Soweto roadrage incident Madingoane (32), who was one of the lead singers for the popular kwaito group. He was shot dead next to a Caltex garage at Zone 3 in Diepkloof, South Africa.
Time and space won’t allow for me to put all the death cases on this post. Some of death cases seem to be man’s successful intentions and not God ordained.
God loves and protects people but would still not force His way against their will. A person whose life is fully ordered by God dies when God says so (Psalm 37:23). One who rebels and ignore God’s guidance might unknowingly tremble on dangerous grounds and loose his or her life. For example, God cannot protect a suicide bomber that intentionally goes into a church building and blows himself up. God may also not protect a believer who does not take heed to His word but lives a double life of any kind.
I once heard of a true story of a Christian young man that died in the hands of a promiscuous woman. This young man was lured to rent a hotel just to satisfy his lustful desires for just a short moment. That moment even though short in human terms, it was long enough to have him killed in cold blood after having committed adultery with the woman.
You will be surprised to learn that God protects people in wars, those that do lawlessness and those that intentionally stand against His will. If you get a chance to speak to any of them about instances where they thought they were going to die but they didn’t, you must know that it was God playing the protective role. I know that people always attribute their safety in such cases to luck.
Taking care of yourself is not good enough to lengthen the number of days in this world unless God is involved. God chooses to heal the sick at will, lets others succumb to death at will and therefore it is always best to be on His side. That is why the Bible says that no one knows when hard times will come (Ecclesiastes 9:12) yet there is nothing too hard for God to solve (Jeremiah 32:27).