Daily Thoughts : May 22nd
Lev 19:32 Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the LORD.
As someone who is beginning to get on a bit in years, I like this law. It is one of the laws given by God to Moses for life in Israel. It is also one of the things that has been lost by modern Western societies – respect! When we write off the aged we demean them and discount their years of experience. I have come to realise that I know considerably more now than when I was a young man. My understanding of life is considerably increased with the years.
Of course going on with this verse, Scripture expects the aged to have learnt wisdom with the years, and wisdom starts with the knowledge of God. The godless are not wise. But this law expects them to be wise and therefore provides for this sort of person: show them honour, show them respect, for they have something of value that you, the younger person does not have yet – wisdom of the years.
So, says the law, show them honour in a way that honour is shown – when they come in rise and acknowledge their presence – and in the way you treat them, show respect. Now note what this law goes on to imply: if you do this you will be showing reverence to God or, to put it the other way round, if you don't you will be disrespecting God! Why? Because this is how He has made the world and He wants us to value wisdom and to honour those who have it. To press home the point it is like He adds His own authority to make this stand out: “I am the LORD.” Implication: do this to honour me, your Almighty, everlasting God!
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