Old Age is Good!

The title of todays blog, “Old Age is Good!” can sound contrary to what society tells everyone. Our American culture is vastly different in their thinking about “Old Age” or “getting older”. I was watching the news last night and heard an example of differing cultural opinions regard “getting older in life”. The singing group, of the ancient past (early 1960’s), tours Japan every year. The group’s name, “The Ventures”. Maybe you have heard of them and maybe not. But the guys have to be in their late sixties. “Boy, is THAT old”, you might be thinking.  How we  accept “older people” in our culture, versus how Japan’s acceptance differs, is completely a reversal in thinking. Maybe it has to do with honor, I am not sure. The news even said that the Emperor of Japan gave “The Ventures” group, a medal of appreciation that had only been handed out 24 times in the last 150 years!  So, is “Old Age” really good where we live? Lets put our detective hats on and look at what God’s Word has to say about “Old Age is Good!”

Genesis 15:15 says,  “And you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old (hoary) age.”

Zechariah 8:4 says,  “Thus says the Lord of Host; Old men and old women shall again dwell in Jerusalem and sit out in the streets (in a place of prominence), every man with his staff in his hand for very [advanced] age.”

Those last two bible verses specifically tell us, “I will have a good old age”.  Do you still have your doubts about living to a good old age? Doubts like, “Things are different now. People don’t live as long as they did way back then”.  And that’s true…to a point! According to AARP, the “U.S. life expectancy surpasses 78, a new record.”  Wikipedia says there were 16 “supercentarians” that have died in 2011 so far; 15 were female and 1 male.  “Eunice Sanborn was born 20 July 1896; Died 31 January 2011–Age 114 years, 195 days.”  The patriarch Abraham died at 175 years of age. [Genesis 25:7]. Is there a difference? Yes, about 60 years. Remember your “attitude determines your altitude” about your aging. 

I want to keep investigating the scripture to see if there are “clues” in uncovering any secrets about, “Old Age is Good!”  Turn with me to 1 Chronicles 29:25-28; Davids age at death:

Verse 28,  “He [David] died in a good old age [his seventy-first year], FULL and satisfied with days, riches, and honor, Solomon his son reigned in his stead.”  Turn next to the Book of Psalms.

Psalm 34:10,  “The young lions lack food and suffer hunger, BUT they who seek (inquire of and require) the Lord [by right of their need and on the authority of His word], none of them shall lack any beneficial thing“.

“Any beneficial or good thing” includes “OLD AGE”, IF…(“if” is a conditional), “they seek the Lord“.  So is the issue of a long life another choice we must make, even when we are young? That choice is found in Deuteronomy 30:19.

Verse 19 says,  “I call heaven and earth to witness this day against you that I have set before you (a choice to make)…life and death, the blessings and the curses; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live.”

I don’t know about you, but I choose life. “What I have been eating always comes out”; God’s Word or…?

I found more evidence in God’s Word by turning to the Gospel of John regarding “life or death”. John 6:48-50:

“I am the Bread of Life [that gives life–the Living Bread].”   “Your forefathers ate manna in the wilderness and [yet] they died.”  “[BUT] this is the Bread that comes down from heaven, so that [any]one may eat of it and never die.”  Now is Jesus really saying that “Old Age is Good”? What do you think He is talking about regarding our journey of life? Do you ever think you are walking in the wilderness sometimes?  Go back in the Old Testament to King Hezekiah, where he got some bad news.  When my wife received “bad news” over a year ago from her doctor; that she had breast cancer, how did we receive the news? Initially…fear, shock and some specific questions. First things first! What does God’s Word want us to do and how are we going to be “doers”?  The next verses were among the many we looked up in our bibles and read out loud to each other daily. Oh by the way, Dianne is clear of the cancer according to her mammogram of last week! Thank you Jesus.

ISAIAH 38:1-2 says,  “IN THOSE days King Hezekiah of Judah became ill and was at the point of death. And Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, came to him and said, Thus says the Lord: Set your house in order, for you shall die and not live.”

Dianne’s doctor didn’t tell her she was going to die like Isaiah told Hezekiah, but in either case; it was BAD NEWS…you are going to die!

Verse 2 continues by saying,  “Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord.”  Dianne did the same.

Hezekiah did not die; he made an important phone call.  Psalm 91 continues bringing the “good news” !

Verses 15-16,  “He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.  With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.” 

What a promise to those approaching “old age” or who are already there.  “Call upon Him and He will answer you”.  He will deliver and honor you with a “long life”.  Have you ever prayed that prayer before? If you haven’t, be a “doer” of the Word right now. It’s okay, no one will notice your face is against the wall while you pray. Your confidence is, in your knowing, God will answer you!

Tomorrow, I will give you the evidence that you will need and confess with your mouth, “Old Age IS Good!” Part II.

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