I Never Died. No, Never
In every issue, IYF interviews a mystery Bible character for insider details about their part in Scripture. But this issue features someone who really is a true mystery. In fact, his first appearance in the Bible is one of the most mysterious verses. I interviewed him over the phone.
Tell me about your first appearance in the Bible.
show up in one of those long sections of "begats." You know, those lists of family trees that a lot of readers skip over: "So-and-so begat so-and-so, etc."
But there's something strange about how you're mentioned, right?
Yah, there are nine of us listed in the family line between Adam and Noah. Each guy's summary ends with "and then he died"—except for mine.
Whoa. You didn't die?
It's a mystery.
Well, where are you right now?
Where do you think I am?
You're not going to tell me anything, are you?
There's so much about faith you just won't know while still on Earth.
What will you tell me?
The Bible says that each of the men in my family lived for so many years, was the father of so-and-so, and then died. Mine says a bit extra. It says: "And after he became the father of Methuselah, he walked with God 300 years. … He walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away" (NIV).
What does "walking with God" mean?
Well, Bible experts have said that "walking with God" was an ancient expression that means "continuous faithfulness." In other words, I was very true to my God.
I always set my eyes on him alone. He was the joy of my life. I lived to please him. And that is the reason why the short chronicle of my life does not end with death. Like anyone who walks with God, death is not the end.
Hebrews 11:5-6 says this about me: "By an act of faith, he skipped death completely. 'They looked all over and couldn't find him because God had taken him.' We know on the basis of reliable testimony that before he was taken, 'he pleased God' … Anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that he exists and that he cares enough to respond to those who seek him" (The Message).
What's your favorite part of that verse?
Probably the part where it says that God "cares enough to respond to those who seek him." To me, the point of all of this isn't how God responded to my faithful devotion. Instead, the point is that he did respond. So many people get down on the God of the Old Testament for being all mean and cruel. But just because I made it my mission in life to please him, he showed me true love and grace. Just like he does for us all.
Wow. So I guess the only mystery left is why you'd name your son "Methuselah."
Well, that's easy. The name "Kevin" wasn't invented yet.
Who is this mystery Bible character? Find out in Genesis 5:21-24.
Copyright © 2007 by the author or Christianity Today/Ignite Your Faith magazine.
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