LOOK AFTER THE OLDS

Reading: 1 Samuel 22

My four kids are now in their twenties. We have three grandsons. They all consider me ancient, at 51 years of age! (When you’re five years old, ten seems like a distant universe. When you’re thirteen, twenty one will never come fast enough. When you’re thirty, you’re just warming up. When you reach fifty, oh well, fifty is really the new forty!)

David was in a heap of trouble. Saul, overcome with envy, wanted him dead. David was a fugitive, pursued by a mad man. Saul proved his utter failure as a leader, and as a human being, by ordering the murder of the entire inhabitants of the city of Nob, including eighty five priests.

Chapter 22 is one of the sorriest in the entire Bible. The one bright spot is found in verses three and four. David’s parents, obviously of good age, were most probably also in Saul’s sights. He was now a despot, devoid of any semblance of goodness, wallowing in self pity, and it’s a fair assumption that he would have evilly dealt with David’s father and mother. David took it upon himself to see that they were safe during this time. This action speaks volumes for David’s integrity.

Here lies today’s application; look after your aging parents! Us westerners could learn a lot from those of the east. Our parents get old, sick, forgetful and we stick them in a nursing home so our “lifestyle” is not affected! This is wrong. While I understand that some older folk need specialized in-house medical care which cannot be given at home, and indeed some prefer to live in a community with people of similar age, sending your aged parents off to a home because we can’t be bothered looking after them, is wrong. The Christian life is all about giving of yourself, at your expense. Our parents gave us everything; they deserve respect and care in their latter years. I know that there is not a one-size-fits-all solution to aged care, but allowing our parents a degree of privacy and dignity in their latter years is a must.

One of the saddest things when I visit a nursing home is to see the multitude of older people who rarely, if ever, receive a family visit from their own children! This is unbelievable. If we’re too busy to visit our aging parents, we’re too busy. This is without a doubt the most selfish generation in history. “It’s all about me” is the catchphrase.

Folks, we need to honour and cherish our parents while we can. Life is too brief to waste opportunities to enjoy God given family relationships. You might need to put away your toys and hobbies for a few hours and listen to your parents. Life isn’t about things. It’s all about people.

Let the Bible speak:

Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man…” (Leviticus 19:32)

But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” (1 Timothy 5:8)

Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.“(Exodus 20:12)

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