“THE BIBLE TEACHES RESPECT FOR OLDER PEOPLE”
How do you look upon older people? What do you think about getting older? How has your concept of age been affected by our society?
OUR SOCIETY GLORIFIES YOUTH AND DESPISES AGE
- This is seen in tremendous efforts to look young and act young.
- Older people are often depicted as out of touch or incompetent.
- Impatience with older people is often expressed.
- Many times older people are mistreated.
- Many times older people are forced to retire to soon.
THE BIBLE TEACHES REPSECT FOR AGE AND EXPERIENCE
God spoke through fathers — Hebrews 1:2, “God, having of old time spoken unto the fathers in the prophets by divers portions and in divers manners,” (ASV)
God selected the elders of Israel as leaders and examples — Exodus 3:16, “Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and say unto them, Jehovah, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, hath appeared unto me, saying, I have surely visited you, and (seen) that which is done to you in Egypt:
Mosaic age demanded respect for age — Leviticus 19:32, “Thou shall rise up before the hoary head, and honor the face of the old man, and thou shall fear thy God: I am Jehovah.” (ASV)
Gray hair is an honor if found in righteousness — Proverbs 16:31, “The hoary head is a crown of glory; It shall be found in the way of righteousness.” (ASV)
Jesus condemned those who refused to care for their parents — Mark 7:9-13, > (9) “And he said unto them, Full well do ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your tradition. > (10) For Moses said, Honor thy father and thy mother; and, He that speaketh evil of father or mother, let him die the death: > (11) but ye say, If a man shall say to his father or his mother, That wherewith thou mightest have been profited by me is Corban, that is to say, Given (to God); > (12) ye no longer suffer him to do aught for his father or his mother; > (13) making void the word of God by your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things ye do.
THE NEW TESTAMENT DEMANDS RESPECT FOR AGE:
Older men and women are to be treated with respect — 1 Timothy 5:1-2, “(1) Rebuke not an elder, but exhort him as a father; the younger men as brethren: “(2) the elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, in all purity.” ASV
Children are to obey and honor their parents = Ephesians 6:1-2, “(1) Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. (2) Honor thy father and mother (which is the first commandment with promise), ASV
Godly widows are to be honored and supported if needed — 1 Timothy 5:8-16, “(8) But if any provideth not for his own, and specially his own household, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever. (9) Let none be enrolled as a widow under threescore years old, (having been) the wife of one man, (10) well reported of for good works; if she hath brought up children, if she hath used hospitality to strangers, if she hath washed the saints’ feet, if she hath relieved the afflicted, if she hath diligently followed every good work. (11) But younger widows refuse: for when they have waxed wanton against Christ, they desire to marry; (12) having condemnation, because they have rejected their first pledge. (13) And withal they learn also (to be) idle, going about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not. (14) I desire therefore that the younger (widows) marry, bear children, rule the household, give no occasion to the adversary for reviling: (15) for already some are turned aside after Satan. (16) If any woman that believeth hath widows, let her relieve them, and let not the church be burdened; that it may relieve them that are widows indeed.” ASV
Those leading the people of God as elders are to have age and experience — 1 Timothy 3:4-7, “(4) one that ruleth well his own house, having (his) children in subjection with all gravity; (5) (but if a man knoweth not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) (6) not a novice, lest being puffed up he fall into the condemnation of the devil. (7) Moreover he must have good testimony from them that are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.”
WHAT CAN OLDER PEOPLE DO TO HELP WITH THIS PROBLEM?
- Be examples of faith and love for God.
- Be spiritually minded.
- Keep a good attitude and a sense of humor.
- Work to communicate with younger people. Both older and younger people can learn from each other.
- The strong uphold the weak, the young uphold the old.
CONCLUSION: Respect for age and experience is vital to a proper relationship with God. It is one of the great foundation principles of life on this earth. It is hard to respect our Father in Heaven, when we do not respect our parents on earth.