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Old Age

1. The blessings of old age:

A. Old age has its own special beauty and glory:

Pro.16:31 - The hoary (grey) head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness
Pro.20:29b - The beauty of old men is the grey head

B. God's Word says that the elderly should be honoured and respected:

Lev.19:32 - Thou shalt rise up [in respect] before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man
Job 32:4,6 - Elihu had waited till Job [and the others] had spoken, because they were elder than he
Pro.23:22 - Hearken unto thy father...and despise not (respect) thy mother when she is old

C. The passing of years usually brings wisdom:

Job 12:12 - With the ancient is wisdom; and in length of days understanding
Job 32:7 - Days should speak, and multitude of years...teach wisdom
1Ki.12:1-16 - [King Rehoboam's folly in not following the wise advice of the old men]

D. Long years of trusting the Lord brings assurance:

Psa.37:25 - I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken

E. We shouldn't be sad about old age:

Eccl.11:10 - Remove sorrow from thy heart...for childhood and youth are vanity

2. God's special help in our old age:

Isa.46:4 - Even to your old age I am He; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you...and will deliver you
(See also Psa.71:8,9,17,18)

3. Desiring long life:

A. Before the flood, men lived to very great ages:

(See Gen.5:1-32; 7:11; 9:28,29.)

B. After the flood, lifespans began to shorten:

(See Gen.11:10-32; 25:7,8,17; 35:28; 47:8,9; Deut.34:7a; Josh.24:29.)

C. Today's average lifespan:

Psa.90:10 - The days of our years are (seventy); and if by reason of strength they be (eighty) years

D. Old age a blessing for a righteous life:

2Chr.24:15 - [Godly Jehoidah lived to 130 years of age, at a time when most men only lived to be 70]
Gen.15:15 - Thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace...in good old age
Gen.25:8 - Abraham...died in a good old age...full of years
Deut.34:7 - Moses was an 120 years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated
1Chr.29:28 - He died in a good old age, full of days, riches, and honour
Job 5:26 - Thou shalt come to thy grave in a full age, like as a (sheave of grain is gathered) in his season
Psa.91:14,16 - He hath set his love on Me...with long life will I satisfy him
Isa.65:22 - As the days of a tree are the days of My people, and Mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands
Zech.8:3,4 - There shall yet [be] old men and old women...every man with his staff in his hand for very age

E. How to obtain the blessing of longevity:

Deut.5:33 - Walk in all the ways which the Lord...commanded you, that ye may live...prolong your days
Deut.30:20 - Love the Lord thy God...obey His voice...for He is thy life, and the length of thy days
Psa.34:12-14 - What man...desireth life, and loveth many days? Keep thy tongue from evil and guile...do good; seek peace
Pro.3:1,2 - Let thine heart keep My commandments: for length of days, and long life...shall they add to thee
Pro.9:10,11 - For by Me (wisdom) thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased
Pro.10:27 - The fear of the Lord prolongeth days
(See also Pro.3:13,16a; 4:7,10; 9:10,11; 1Pet.3:10,11; Exo.20:12.)

F. Praying for more time to live and serve the Lord:

2Ki.20:1-7 - [God revived ailing King Hezekiah and gave him 15 more years to live]
Psa.71:18 - Forsake me not; until I have shewed Thy strength unto this generation, and...to everyone that is to come

G. Keeping up the will to live to help others:

Phi.1:23-25 - Having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ...[but] to abide in the flesh is more needful for you

H. God sometimes revealed to men their time of departing:

Psa.39:4 - Lord, make me to know...the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am
Psa.90:12 - Teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom
Lk.2:26 - It was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen...Christ
2Tim.4:6,7 - I am now ready...the time of my departure is at hand
2Pet.1:14 - Shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me
2Ki.2:3 - Knowest thou that the Lord will take (Elijah) away today?

I. They often gave parting instructions to their family:

Gen.49:1,33 - [Dying Jacob called his sons and gave them instructions, and when finished, "gave up the ghost"]
(See also Gen.50:22-26; 1Ki.2:1-3,10.)

J. The futility of worrying that our time has come:

Gen.27:1-4 - [Aged Isaac thought he was about to die, but lived many more years and died when 180 Gen.35:28,29]
1Sam.27:1 - [David despaired:] I shall perish one day by the hand of Saul [but lived over 40 years more]
(See also Heb.2:15)

K. Trusting God to keep you alive until His appointed time:

Job 7:1 - Is there not an appointed time to man upon earth?
Psa.31:15a - My times are in Thy hand
Psa.48:14 - God...is our guide even unto death

L. Sometimes not living to old age is a greater blessing:

Gen.5:23,24 - [Enoch lived only 1/3rd the lifespan of his day; God took him because he pleased Him See also Heb.11:5]
Isa.57:1 - Merciful men are taken away...the righteous is taken away from the evil to come (See also 1Ki.14:12,13)

4. God can mightily use aged believers:

A. Promises of fruitfulness:

Psa.92:13,14 - They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be (fresh) and flourishing

B. Material ministering and good deeds:

2Sam.19:32-35 - [Barzillai, 80 years old, helped support King David in his time of great need See also 2Sam.17:27-29]

C. Spiritual ministries:

Exo.7:7 - [Moses was 80 years old when he led the Exodus]
Joel 2:28 - I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh; and...your old men shall dream dreams (See also Acts 2:16,17)
Dan.9:1; 10:1 - [Daniel received two of his greatest revelations between the ages of 85 and 90]
Rev.1:1,9 - [The apostle John received the Book of Revelation in exile on Patmos, in his 80's or 90's]

D. Some conditions to being used of God:

Tit.2:2,3 - Aged men be sober, (reverent), temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience [that they may teach]

E. The ministry of prayer:

1Sam.12:1,2,16,19 - [Samuel, aged and grey-headed, prayed and the Lord performed a miracle to punish the errant Israelites]
Lk.2:36,37 - Anna, a prophetess...of about (84 years old), served God with fastings and prayers night and day
1Tim.5:5,9 - [Prayer, a special ministry for women over 60]

F. Witnessing:

Lk.2:36-38 - [Anna, 84 years old, witnessed to others about Jesus]
Phlm.9-11,16 - Paul the aged [led Onesimus to receive Jesus]
Acts 28:30,31 - [Paul witnessed to all those who came to visit him]
(See also 2Tim.1:5; 3:15 - Witnessing to our children and grandchildren)

G. God can use those who think they are too old:

Gen.18:10-14; 21:1,2 - [Sarah, at 90, laughs and doubts she can have a child] (See also Gen.17:15-17; Lk.1:36.)

H. God sometimes doesn't really use us until we're older and wiser:

Acts 7:23-34 - [Moses tried to start his life's work at 40, but was not really ready for it until he was 80]

I. Keep faithfully serving Jesus till our parting day:

2Pet.1:12-15 - I think it meet, as long as I am in this (body), to stir you up [and establish you in the truth]

J. Steadfastly enduring adversity in old age:

Phlm.9,10 - Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner...in bonds
Rev.1:9 - [John, in his 80's or 90's, exiled to the isle of Patmos]

5. Strength in old age:

A. God can give us strength and health:

Deut.33:25 - As thy days, so shall thy strength be
Deut.34:7 - Moses an 120 years old...his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated
Isa.40:29 - To them that have no might He increaseth strength
Psa.103:5 - [He] satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's
Josh.14:7,10,11 - I (Caleb) am this day (85) years old. As yet I am as strong this day as I was [when I was 40]

B. Courage and determination give strength and victory in old age:

Josh.14:10-14 - [Caleb, 85 years old, declared:] Give me this mountain [inhabited by giants in strongly-fortified cities] The Lord will be with me...I shall drive them out

C. Giving God the credit for keeping us during a difficult life:

Josh.14:10 - Behold, the Lord hath kept me alive, these (45) years... in the wilderness...and I am this day (85) years old

6. Cautions regarding old age:

A. We must not assume that age alone always makes us wiser:

Job 32:9 - Great men are not always wise: neither do the aged [always] understand judgment
(See also Psa.119:100)

B. Without God, the wisdom of the aged comes to nought:

Job 12:13,20 - With Him (God) is wisdom...He...taketh away the understanding of the aged

C. Caution against becoming too set in our ways:

Eccl.4:13 - Better is a...wise child than an old and foolish king, who will no more be admonished

D. Caution against losing conviction in old age:

1Ki.11:4 - When Solomon was old, his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with God

E. Unwisely comparing former glories to the present:

Eccl.7:10 - Say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? Thou dost not enquire wisely
Ezra 3:11,12 - [People rejoiced to see the new temple, but the old men, remembering old temple, wept] (See also Hag.2:3)

7. Joy in children and in grandchildren:

Pro.17:6 - Children's children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers
Gen.37:3 - Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age
Ruth 4:13-16 - [Naomi's grandchild] a nourisher of thine old age
(See also Lk.1:5-7,13,18-20)

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Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family International

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James Arendt
James Arendt

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