The righteous man will flourish like the palm tree, He will grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Planted in the house of the LORD, They will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still yield fruit in old age; They shall be full of sap and very green, To declare that the LORD is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.
There are so many opportunities in our jobs, the family and the Church to serve God when we are young, but what about when we get old? We retire, we lose a spouse, the Church can become too familiar to us to see a place to serve. The text above shouts to us that it doesn’t have to be this way. The righteous, it says, will “flourish” planted in the house of the Lord (the Church) and “yield fruit in old age.” Is this your experience?
Sometimes churches don’t treasure their older members. We want young preachers to draw in young people, and we sometimes revert things and want our young to take the lead in our churches so they can develop. Yes, it’s good to develop the young and teach them to serve, but God wants the elderly to take the lead in service and be an example to our young people so that they will fear the Lord. Is this what we are doing?
Time and time again I see it. Churches advertise that they want a young preacher? Nothing against young preachers, but what about older, more mature men who have spent a life time studying God’s word and living it—why wouldn’t we want them? Why can’t we see this ad, “Small church with some young people seeking an older, mature preacher to share his wisdom and knowledge of the word of God with us.”
Sometimes it’s not the church’s fault, but the elderly who retire from serving God like they retire from their jobs. We want to travel, or sometimes just to sit and be quiet at home. Is this really God’s will for us in our old age, or does He have something better planned for us--a purpose that satisfies more deeply than traveling or isolating in our homes? A self-centered old age will sap the life from us, but a Christ centered, serving in the courts of our God life will make us “be full of sap and very Green” as we “declare that the LORD is upright, He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him” at the top of our lungs.
The Church and older people need a revival in our day time. It’s time to stop wasting the godly leaders and servants we have, and it’s time to leave selfishness behind and “yield some fruit in old age.” It’s the key to putting life back into the Church, and eternal life back into old age.