Skip to main content

Glorifying God in the Golden Years

Last Sunday, we studied the prayer of an old man in Psalm 71, and learned how we can "Glorify God in the Golden Years." There were three points to our outline:
  1. The Protection of the Elderly (Ps. 71:1-13). The psalmist senses that he is in danger as his enemies encircle and plot against him. Though his strength is diminishing, his faith remains strong as he runs to God for refuge. It may seem, at times, that God has forsaken us, but we know that those who have trusted Christ are secure. God already forsook His Son on the cross so that we would never have to be forsaken (Matt. 27:46).
  2. The Purpose of the Elderly (Ps. 71:14-18). The psalmist knows that his many years and life experiences are intended by God to be the source for unending hope and praise, while teaching the next generation about God's character and salvation. As long as God keeps us on the earth, He has an important mission for us to fulfill. Whatever faculties we have left should be used for God's glory.
  3. The Praise of the Elderly (Ps. 71:19-24). The psalmist concludes with an outburst of joy and praise to God. He can hardly contain himself as he remembers the righteousness of God and the great things He has done. He expects the Lord to revive Him once again so he can continue to praise God until His final breath, while he awaits God to humble the proud and put his enemies to shame.
Application questions for the young and middle aged:
  • What are my thoughts and feelings about old age?
  • What is the world's perspective of age? What, in contrast, do the following verses say about it? Lev. 19:32; Prov. 16:31; 20:29.
  • Do I treat the elderly with honor? How could I improve? What are the main barriers I face?
  • Do I keep a journal or some other way of recording the "great things" (Ps. 71:19) God has done in my life to help me recall them in the latter years?
  • Do I make myself available to seniors, listening to them and even seeking out their counsel and testimony of God's grace? (Ps. 71:18)
Application questions for seniors:
  • What are the threats and fears I face right now? What comfort can Psalm 71 bring?
  • If Psalm 71:8 were written about me, how would it read? "My mouth is filled with ___." Is my speech generally positive or negative? Is it self-centered or others/God-centered? Are my words full of cynicism, gossip, and complaining? Or joy, encouragement, and thanksgiving?
  • Do I view my life as still having purpose? If so what is it? How does this purpose match up with the glorious purpose described in Psalm 71:14-18?
  • Do I treat the younger generation with respect or see them as a threat? What are the main barriers I face? How am I willing to change or accommodate my own preferences in order to help reach the next generation?
  • Do I make myself available to young and middle aged people, talking with them, getting to know them, praying for them, sharing godly counsel, and testifying of God's grace? (Ps. 71:18) How could I improve?
  • Is my joy evident to others? Does my speech and body language suggest to others that I am genuinely happy? Do I give "shouts" of praise to God through singing and prayer? (Ps. 71:23) How can I be joyful even in difficult circumstances?
Related posts:

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Herod who??

I must admit, I still get confused by all those Herods mentioned in the New Testament. To keep them straight, I find it helpful to read the biblical text with a genealogy of Herod's family at my side (here's one from the Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible).


Well, so much for simplicity. Even this chart looks more like an engineering schematic than a family tree. To boil it all down, there are four key members of Herod's family mentioned in the Gospels...

Herod the Great. This is the original Herod of them all. The very name sent shivers up the spine of ancient Jews. Son of Antipater, he was a cunning politician, ruthless dictator, and brilliant architect. He was responsible for constructing the temple mount in Jerusalem, fortress palaces at Herodium and Masada, and a harbor at Caesarea -- all which continue to astound archaeologists and engineers today. In addition to killing several kin who threatened his throne, Herod murdered all the young boys in Bethlehem at the news that…

A review of the HCSB Study Bible

Today, I finally had a chance to browse through a copy of the new HCSB Study Bible.

The HCSB Study Bible is 2272 pages long (plus a few maps). As expected, the translation is the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) version. It ranks well and rivals the ESV in both exegetical accuracy and literary quality. Some of its unique features are:
Its translation of yahweh as "Yahweh" (instead of LORD) in the OT when referring to the personal name of God (e.g. Ex. 3:15)The translation of doulos as "slave" instead of "servant" or "bondservant" in the New Testament (e.g. Rom. 1:1)The translation of christos as "Messiah" in the New Testament, whenever referring to the Jewish expectation of the Messiah (e.g. Matt. 16:16)Capitalized pronouns when referring to GodThe use of contractions in direct discourse (e.g. "let's go" in Mark 1:38)A wonderful feature called bullet notes (small bullets next to key words that may be unfamiliar, poin…

Restoring old photos of Israel

In his latest newsletter, Todd Bolen explains the painstaking process of restoring old photos to create the 8-volume American Colony and Eric Matson Collection. It’s a fascinating project that really makes you appreciate the end result. Here’s his full article…Shortly after producing a collection of modern-day photographs in the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands (initially released in January 2000), I began work on a supplementary collection that would peel back the recent layers of time to reveal the sites of the Holy Land before the changes brought by modernization.  The initial fruit of this work was the release of 8 volumes of Historic Views of the Holy Land in November 2004.About that same time, I learned that the Library of Congress was digitizing the G. Eric and Edith Matson Negatives.  Between 1966 and 1981, Eric Matson and his beneficiary donated this collection to the Library of Congress. But public access was limited and costly until 2004, when the first negatives were scann…