Old Age



1. The blessings of old age:

A. Old age has its own special beauty & 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 & respected:

                Lev.19:32               Thou shalt rise up [in respect] before the hoary head, & honour the face of the old man

                Job 32:4,6               Elihu had waited till Job [& the others] had spoken, because they were elder than he

                Pro.23:22                Hearken unto thy father...& 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; & in length of days understanding

                Job 32:7  Days should speak, & 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, & 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 & youth are vanity


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

                Isa.46:4   Even to your old age I am He; & even to hoar hairs will I carry you...& 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); & 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, & 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, & Mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands

                Zech.8:3,4              There shall yet [be] old men & 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, & the length of thy days

                Psa.34:12-14          What man...desireth life, & loveth many days? Keep thy tongue from evil & guile...do good; seek peace

                Pro.3:1,2 Let thine heart keep My commandments: for length of days, & long life...shall they add to thee

                Pro.9:10,11             For by Me (wisdom) thy days shall be multiplied, & 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 & serve the Lord:

                2Ki.20:1-7               [God revived ailing King Hezekiah & gave him 15 more years to live]

                Psa.71:18                Forsake me not; until I have shewed Thy strength unto this generation, &...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, & 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 & gave them instructions, & 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 & 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) & flourishing

B. Material ministering & 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; &...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 & grey-headed, prayed & 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 & prayers night & 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 & grandchildren)

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

                Gen.18:10-14;21:1,2              [Sarah, at 90, laughs & 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 & 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 [& establish you in the truth]

J. Steadfastly enduring adversity in old age:

                Phlm.9,10               Paul the aged, & 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 & 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 & determination give strength & 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...& 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 & 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: & 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 & in grandchildren:

                Pro.17:6  Children's children are the crown of old men; & 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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