You know if you live long enough you will become a senior adult. There are joys and sorrows, but for many, additional respect for the ways of God. I love to sit and talk with older men of God and listen to how He has taught them, and of how their walk with Him has been blessed.
1. Live In Respect . . Honor the Elderly. Lev 19:32
A. Honor the Elderly with . . Regarding their Age. 19:32a
32 "You are to rise in the presence of the elderly and honor the old."
B. Honor the Elderly with . . Reverencing the Lord. 19:32b
"Fear your God; I am the Lord."
Do you have respect for the elderly? I have thought of the verses in this lesson and usually tried to be respectful to the older Christians. Many are a joy to be around and have the ability to pass on spiritual wisdom. Seniors deserve our respect, and usually appreciate it. When we regard the elderly; we also reverence the Lord because we are following His instructions.
2. Live In Respect . . Care for the Elderly. 2 Sam 19:31-39 (HCSB)
A. Care for the Elderly . . Offering to Help Them. 19:31-33
31 Barzillai the Gileadite had come down from Rogelim and accompanied the king
to the Jordan River to see him off at the Jordan. 32 Barzillai was a very old man 80 years old and since he was a very wealthy man, he had provided for the needs of the king while he stayed in Mahanaim. 33 The king said to Barzillai, "Cross over with me, and I'll provide for you at my side in Jerusalem."
B. Care for the Elderly . . Observing their Concerns. 19:34-36
34 Barzillai replied to the king, "How many years of my life are left that I should
go up to Jerusalem with the king? 35 I'm now 80 years old. Can I discern what is pleasant and what is not? Can your servant taste what he eats or drinks? Can I still hear the voice of
male and female singers? Why should your servant be an added burden to my lord the king? 36 Since your servant is only going with the king a little way across the Jordan, why should the king repay me with such a reward?
How can one help senior adults? First you might just offer to help, most seniors like to do for themselves as they can. However, as they get older they realize more and more tasks become difficult or impossible. We must respect their desire to do for themselves as long as they can. Sometime they seem to be stubborn, but it may be that younger people are pushing their agenda rather than allowing the elderly the freedom they deserve. In the text Barzillai, did not want to be a burden, and that seems to be a common concern of the elderly. As you respect the people in this age group; realize they want to do for themselves as long as they can. Note how well Barzillai reasoned.
3. Live In Respect . . Accept the Decisions of the Elderly. 19:37-39
A. Accept the Decisions of the Elderly Concerning Their. . Death. 19:37-38
37 Please let your servant return so that I may die in my own city near the tomb of
my father and mother. But here is your servant Chimham: let him cross over with my lord
the king. Do for him what seems good to you."
B. Accept the Decisions of the Elderly Concerning Their . . Desires. 19:38-39
38 The king replied, "Chimham will cross over with me, and I will do for him what
seems good to you, and whatever you desire from me I will do for you." 39 So all the
people crossed the Jordan, and then the king crossed. The king kissed Barzillai and blessed him, and Barzillai returned to his home.
My mother (by her choice) lived alone up until a week before she died. At almost 92 years of age she reminded me, "I told you children when I was ready to go to a nursing home I would tell you, and it is time for you to check them out for me.” Later that day I took mom to the emergency room and she never left the hospital. The Lord blessed her by taking her when she gave up wanting to live alone. I thank Him for that, and for the way she lived out her desires in her last years, and died in a peaceful manner.
4. Live In Respect . . Treat the Elderly as Family. 1 Tim. 5:1-2
A. Treat the Elderly as Family Such As Men As . . Fathers. 5:1
1 Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers,
B. Treat the Elderly as Family Such As Women As . . Mothers. 5:2
2 older women as mothers, and with all propriety, the younger women as sisters.
I dislike seeing one person relate disrespectfully to another person. I think it is even worse
when it is an elderly person. I love to see a father and son who have a great relationship, and the text tells all of us to treat an older person in a respectful manner. My respect and appreciation for my mother grew as I matured, and my sisters and I tried in many ways to honor, and respect our mother. Because I lived away from mom my sisters cared for her more than I did until the latter part of her life. I consider it a privilege to have spent the time with her that I shared in her last years. Following the teaching of this lesson will help us Live In Respect. Amen? Amen!