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The Scriptures honor old people; the people of God ought to honor older people.

Updated: Jan 12, 2023

A gray head is a crown of glory;

It is found in the way of righteousness (Proverbs 16.31).

The glory of young men is their strength,

And the honor of old men is their gray hair (Proverbs 20.29).

Listen to your father who begot you,

And do not despise your mother when she is old.

Buy truth, and do not sell it,

Get wisdom and instruction and understanding (Proverbs 23.22-23).

And Job died, an old man and full of days (Job 42.17).

Dr Hal Habecker's Comments:

Honor you father and your mother,

That your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you (Exodus 20.12).

These verses speak of the honor and valor of an older generation. God values the aging process, and so should we. They ought to be honored because we are indebted to them. With respect to our parents, they birthed us and gave us life. They cared for us until we could care for ourselves. Older people in general gave the world to us. They lived and worked and fought wars and made decisions which made the world what it was when we came on the scene.

As one who trusted Christ early in life (age 6), I am indebted to my parents who loved God and brought us up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. As one who grew up in the church, I am indebted to pastors and teachers who helped lay a foundation in God’s Word and who set godly examples for me. I am indebted to every older person on whose shoulders I have stood. They have each helped me in ways too numerous to count.

This perhaps is why the Apostle Paul exhorted young Pastor Timothy to have this attitude towards older people in the churches in which he served.

“Do not sharply rebuke an older man, but rather appeal to him as a father, to the younger men as brothers, the older women as mothers, and the younger women as sisters, in all purity” ! Timothy 5.1,2).

The younger generations in the church need to heed these truths.

Commentary (ref

Proverbs 16:27–33 closes chapter 16, as Solomon continues his wise sayings. This passage contrasts evil men with men who are righteous, honest, and disciplined. Evil in the heart produces wicked speech, but righteousness in the heart shows itself in righteous living.

An Amish proverb states that "we get too soon old and too late smart." Certain facets of wisdom only come by experience. Unfortunately, some people age more quickly than they mature. In prior eras, numerous factors led to fewer people surviving into old age. Those who did, however, usually acquired some level of wisdom. Solomon says of such people that their "gray hair is a crown of glory." He adds that the crown of glory is more readily acquired by leading a righteous life (Proverbs 3:1–2; 9:10–11).

Luke identifies two elderly people who led a righteous life. They were Simeon and Anna. Luke 2:25 describes Simeon as "righteous and devout," and he was "waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him." Anna, a prophetess, was an 84-year-old widow. Luke writes that she "did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer" (Luke 2:37). These two righteous, elderly people rejoiced when Jesus' parents brought Him as an infant to the temple. Both spoke with wisdom concerning Jesus. Simeon told Mary that Jesus was "appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel" (Luke 2:34), and verse 38 informs us that Anna gave thanks to God and spoke of Him "to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem."


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