The Assets of the Aged
Proverbs 16:31 The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.
Intro: I want to preach this morning to a very special group of people in our church. The emphasis of this morning’s message will be to the aged – the elderly.
Many people look at the elderly as an obstacle to innovation, modernization and advancement.
There are churches that have kicked the elderly to the curb and focus only on the youth and the energetic.
But the Bible is clear; there is an appeal; an attractiveness that only the elderly can provide.
I look around this morning and see lots of grey head and a lot of white hair in this sanctuary.
It is beautiful. To me, and to you and to God.
Older people are a hoot to be with.
JOKE: I’m reminded of the old man and his wife sitting on the front porch. They were just looking out at the sunset when out of the blue, the old woman hauled off and slapped the old man clear out of his rocking chair. He felt around on the porch and found his glasses and got back up and sat down. “What was that for?” She replied, “That is for being such a lousy kisser all these years.” They sat there a while, and then he hauled off and slapped her out of her chair. She felt around and found her glasses and her hearing aids and her dentures and sat down and pulled herself together. She looked at him and asked, “What was that for?” He answered, “That’s for knowing the difference!”
A. The People – “The hoary head…”
- Leviticus 19:32 Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the LORD.
- Proverbs 20:29 The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the gray head.
Notice the respect that Elihu had for the elderly in Job 32:
- 4 Now Elihu had waited till Job had spoken, because they were elder than he.
- 5 When Elihu saw that there was no answer in the mouth of these three men, then his wrath was kindled.
- 6 And Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite answered and said, I am young, and ye are very old; wherefore I was afraid, and durst not shew you mine opinion.
We live in a society where the contribution of the older generation is no longer respected.
Pulling down statues that honor the statesmen, the warriors and those that made America great is a disgrace!
Isaiah 3 spoke of this:
- 4 And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them.
- 5 And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbour: the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honourable.
B. The Prestige – “…a crown of glory…”
There is a crown of glory reserved for the aged.
- Proverbs 17:6 Children’s children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.
Though the grandchildren are a crown, there is another crown that I believe this is talking about.
- 7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
- 8 Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her.
- 9 She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.
C. The Parameters – “…if it be found in the way of righteousness.”
The Bible is clear – not just any hoary head is a crown of glory.
That only applies to those aged men and women that be found in the way of righteousness.
There’s nothing more repulsive than an old woman with a foul mouth.
There’s nothing more shameful than an old man with a roving eye and a filthy mind.
Cursing, bitter, angry old people that have squandered their influence and respect.
Just because a person is old does not mean they have a crown of glory.
But – an aged man or woman that fits these parameters are WITHOUT A DOUBT AN ASSET to the church!
I. The Asset of their Experience
- Psalms 37:25 I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.
There are some things that the aged have experienced that only time will produce.
- 12 With the ancient is wisdom; and in length of days understanding.
- 13 With him is wisdom and strength, he hath counsel and understanding.
NOTE: For our upcoming Missions Conference in March, we’ve invited Sis. Margaret Stringer who went to New Guinea in the ‘60’s and served for over 40 years.
Old preachers, evangelists have walked with God and have experienced His moving and working.
We should hear their stories, lest we forget!
- 20 And those twelve stones, which they took out of Jordan, did Joshua pitch in Gilgal.
- 21 And he spake unto the children of Israel, saying, When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean these stones?
- 22 Then ye shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land.
- 23 For the LORD your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you, until ye were passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red sea, which he dried up from before us, until we were gone over:
- 24 That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the LORD your God for ever.
II. The Asset of their Example
- Psalms 71:18 Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.
David wanted to be an example of God’s strength and power to this generation.
Notice the example of the ancient men in Ezra 3 when the new Temple was built.
- 10 And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, they set the priests in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites the sons of Asaph with cymbals, to praise the LORD, after the ordinance of David king of Israel.
- 11 And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the LORD; because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.
- 12 But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy:
- 13 So that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people: for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off.
They set an example in praise, worship, weeping, rejoicing and shouts of joy.
JOKE: A lot of older people are hard of hearing. Reminds me of the old man sitting on the front porch with his wife. He looked over at her and said, “Honey, I’m proud of you.” She looked at him and said, “I’m tired of you too!”
SEE Luke 1:5-18 Zacharias was an old man, as well as his wife Elizabeth. (see verse 36)
Yet notice how the Bible describes them in verse 6.
- Luke 1:6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.
Notice Luke 2:25-30 – Simeon was an old man, and three times it tells us that the Holy Ghost was upon him.
Notice Luke 2:36-38 – Anna was “of great age” but “she departed not from the temple, but served God…”
One thing I find that all of these aged people had in common: They were filled with the Holy Ghost and they were in the temple.
I also notice that Zacharias didn’t get a free pass.
Because of his doubt, God struck him dumb for 9 months. (Luke 1:20)
The elderly are not exempt from rebuke and reproof, nor chastisement!
NOTE: Some of you have allowed Dr. Fauci to pull you out of church. You need to come back!
III. The Asset of their Exhortation
- 1 But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:
- 2 That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.
- 3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
- 4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
- 5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.