Gray Hair

Recently I had occasion to need the services of a government office. The clerk who waited on me was a young woman perhaps college age. She was politely scornful as she answered my questions and I went away feeling very despised.

The Lord instructed the Israelites through Moses to honor their elders by standing (not sitting) in their presence. To honor gray haired people is to honor the Creator, our Lord God. That is a simple way to be respectful but the fallen nature resists acknowledging someone else as superior.

Leviticus 19:32 You shall rise before the gray headed and honor the presence of an old man, and fear your God: I am the LORD.

A young person has hair-trigger reactions and strength. An older person is slower to act because he/she stops to think and consider their actions. This is especially true of those who follow Jesus. Older people also demonstrate wisdom gained from a lifetime of experiences.

Proverbs 16:31 Gray hair is a crown of glory; It is gained in a righteous life.

Proverbs 20:29 The glory of young men is their strength, but the splendor of old men is their gray hair.

Proverbs 23:22 Listen to your father who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old.

Older people value life as much as younger people do. They acknowledge their waning strength, but they realize that they still have much of great value to share with their children and grandchildren. In the mobility of today’s restless society many youth and working adults forfeit the treasure of wisdom their elders have to share. I loved my grandparents and considered my maternal grandfather the most holy man I ever knew. I realized that he was just a man subject to errors, but I loved and respected him as a man beloved by his Lord. Even as a seven year old I held him in high regard. 

Psalm 71:9, 18 ampc 9 Cast me not off nor send me away in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength is spent and my powers fail.

18 Yes, even when I am old and gray-headed, O God, forsake me not, [but keep me alive] until I have declared Your mighty strength to [this] generation, and Your might and power to all that are to come.

The following passage describes older followers of Jesus as He sees them. Godly elders are extremely fruitful in their lives and relationships. A number of years ago some highly educated professors and skilled professionals organized a Christian university and made their school known. It operated successfully a number of years until some less educated, less experienced individuals became jealous and put the elders out of business in a lawsuit. What a loss to society at large and what a shame for those energetic older persons.

Psalm 9 :12-15 ampc 12 The [uncompromisingly] righteous shall flourish like the palm tree [be long-lived, stately, upright, useful, and fruitful]; they shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon [majestic, stable, durable, and incorruptible].

13 Planted in the house of the Lord, they shall flourish in the courts of our God.

14 [Growing in grace] they shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be full of sap [of spiritual vitality] and [rich in the] verdure [of trust, love, and contentment].

15 [They are living memorials] to show that the Lord is upright and faithful to His promises; He is my Rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.

God loves and honors the elderly. This is clear by the promises He has given to them in the Book of Isaiah. I have prayed these promises for myself and others that I know and realize that they need God’s favor and protection.

Isaiah 46:4 ampc Even to your old age I am He, and even to hair white with age will I carry you. I have made, and I will bear; yes, I will carry and will save you.

To sum up how the elderly need and want respect and courtesy, consider this admonition that Jesus gave His listeners, to be respectful of everyone as His representative. Actions have consequences. Consider your actions toward others carefully because they will come back to bite or bless you.

Luke 6:31 And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.

The Last Days

II Timothy 3 (AMPclassic)

1 But understand this, that in the last days will come (set in) perilous times of great stress and trouble [hard to deal with and hard to bear].

2 For people will be lovers of self and [utterly] self-centered, lovers of money and aroused by an inordinate [greedy] desire for wealth, proud and arrogant and contemptuous boasters. They will be abusive (blasphemous, scoffing), disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane.

3 [They will be] without natural [human] affection (callous and inhuman), relentless (admitting of no truce or appeasement); [they will be] slanderers (false accusers, troublemakers), intemperate and loose in morals and conduct, uncontrolled and fierce, haters of good.

4 [They will be] treacherous [betrayers], rash, [and] inflated with self-conceit. [They will be] lovers of sensual pleasures and vain amusements more than and rather than lovers of God.

5 For [although] they hold a form of piety (true religion), they deny and reject and are strangers to the power of it [their conduct belies the genuineness of their profession]. Avoid [all] such people [turn away from them].

I like the Amplified Bible for its use of many synonyms to make the passages clear. There is no doubt about what this passage is addressing. And there is no doubt that the graphic description drawn here is a last days picture.

In the 1980s both parents were working full time and their children were left to be parented by the television. I loved teaching junior high kids because they were beginning to draw away from their parents, and I was a nonparent that they could come to with problems and questions. I sensed the beginnings of disrespect for authority but I wouldn’t allow them to disrespect me. Those junior high school young people are now grandparents. There was a loss of family traditions and family courtesies. As parental discipline was lost, so self-discipline was not taught. Sundays were days to catch up on tasks around the house and socializing. Church was a waste of valuable time, thus even rudimentary religious training was lost and dishonored at home. Today’s society is abundantly reaping what has been sown over these last forty years or more.

If today’s school age children and youth are rebellious and without natural affection, it is because they were not parented according to our Christian heritage. Today’s pastors don’t read passages from the Bible like the one above because they are concerned that their offerings will decline, and perhaps they would. But if the pastors are God’s men and women, they are obligated to present the whole Gospel. The whole Gospel rubs against the carnal, natural man, however, so the church-attender hears about God’s grace and how God loves the sinner. Sinning is okay because Jesus died for the sinner. The Truth of the Word is twisted to fit the sinner rather than calling the sinner to repentance and purity. Jesus called His followers to be holy as He is holy.

1 Peter 1:15-16  but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”

I was not hopeful regarding the call to prayer held on the Capitol Mall the last of September. Many big names of ministers, bands and singers do not make a prayer meeting. But I was so excited to hear the fiery message by Jonathan Cahn. He didn’t mince words or withhold Truth. He addressed both pastors and lay people, both political leaders and ordinary citizens. I am so grateful that God found a man who would cry out Truth.

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

We as Americans will surely lose our beautiful nation if we do not come back to God with serious sorrow for our sins, and turn back to our Lord. The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23) and we are obviously struggling with death as a nation.

I urge you to listen to Rabbi Cahn’s message. Listen carefully. And listen to the small voice inside you as the Holy Spirit witnesses to the Truth of the message.