Life is a precious gift from God to all creatures. It is divinely given to provide the consciousness for fulfilling the purpose of God on earth. Genesis 2:7 says, “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”
In actual fact, God created man – male and female, in His own image and pronounced on them fruitfulness, multiplication, replenishment, subjugation and dominion over all the other creatures He has made. Following the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, death became inevitable and thus benchmarking the span of individual human existence.
The first generation of man had a life span of about one thousand years. The scriptures show that Adam lived for over nine hundred years: “And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.” Genesis 5:5.
Methuselah, was the oldest man recorded in the Bible and he lived to be nine hundred and sixty-nine years old. Before the flood that destroyed the earth, God had said that man would live for 120 years: “Then the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless, his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” Genesis 6:3.
Further down in the Bible, the Psalmist revealed that man is to live between seventy and eighty years: “The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” Psalms 90:10.
The gradual reduction in the life span of man on earth can be largely attributed to the consequences of sinful living. It is therefore instructive that we pay adequate attention to living a godly and purposeful life, and also embrace a culture that promotes good health at all times.
Worthy of note is that continuous scientific advancement has aided significantly in maintaining the average human life span considerably. The provision of advanced and standard healthcare services, where they are available and accessible, have also helped to sustain life expectancy to the age revealed by the Psalmist in Psalm 90:10.
With reference to Wikipedia, life expectancy equals the average number of years a person born in a given country is expected to live if mortality rates at each age were to remain steady in the future. This life expectancy varies between males and females. According to United Nations World Population Prospects, over the period of 2010-2015, the average life expectancy at birth was 71.5 years (68 years and 4 months for males and 72 years and 8 months for females). Combining the two sexes, Japan had the topmost life expectancy of 75 years, US 70 years, Nigeria 48 years and the least was Sierra Leone with 45 years.
However, Global ranking in 2017 raised the life expectancy in Nigeria to 54.07 years, causing the country to rank 216 in the world, and 16th in Africa. The figures reflect the quality of healthcare as well as other factors in the countries identified.