New Years resolutions always sound about the same. Some have to do with bad habits you want to quit. Some are about good habits you want to start. Many goals are in the area of health, be it physical, emotional, or spiritual. The connecting theme is a desire to make the next year better than the last. Optimism drives us down this road. God created us to make things better, and we have a natural desire to fulfill that calling. And we all know we have a finite number of years on this earth to keep trying… But what if you had more time? What if you found what so many wealthy, powerful people would kill for? What if you could live for 500 years? What if you could live for 1,000? What could you accomplish with that much time?

In Genesis 5, we find a remarkable history of the generations from Adam to Moses. Amazingly, the people mentioned averaged about 800 years of life, with some living almost a millennium. Imagine the lives they must have lived. Think about how much history you would have witnessed if you lived through the last 900 years. And they were enjoying the youth of the world, unpolluted and empty of all humanity except them. Adam knew his grandchildren to the eighth generation. What a life… They must have been so happy, so fulfilled, so wise. They must have figured out how to make each year better than the last. Things must have been better then.

Yet, when Noah was born, his father did not speak of great accomplishments or hope for continuing to make the world a better place. He spoke of agony, hard labor, cursed ground, and a desperate hope for relief. As it turns out, living longer doesn’t make you happy, or make the world any less broken. The longer you live, the more aware you become of how defunct our existence is because of the curse of sin. Lamech learned that things did not get better with time, because sin's corruption only grows stronger. The only true hope for humanity is that God will finally bring an end to sin and restoration to the earth. Lamech thought God might do that through Noah. God did something incredible there, though I would not call it restoration exactly. Today, we look to the one who has already come and restored our relationship with God, and we wait for Him to come again and restore all things. This new year, resolve with me to keep your eyes on Jesus, and hope only in Him. And thank God we are not doomed to live forever in a broken world without him.

by Ben Urban, Pastor of Student Ministries

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