Friday, 8 February 2013

A Bible Study on Aging

I wrote this Bible study on aging for my "Live By Faith Bible Studies" blog but I would like to post it here as well for anyone who has not read it yet.

Have you ever wondered if God will be with you in the later years of life? Does anyone understand the difficulties that our seniors experience day in and day out? Well, it shouldn't surprise us that God would take most of an entire chapter in the Bible to explain the difficulties that the senior years bring. I think He wrote Ecclesiastes 12 to bring comfort and encouragement to our seniors and to help us all realize that He does understand our situation. He sees and knows your situation and He will see us through to the end - to the day He calls us home to heaven to spend eternity with Him in glory.

Isaiah 46:3-5 “Listen to Me, O house of Jacob, And all the remnant of the house of Israel, Who have been upheld by Me from birth, Who have been carried from the womb: Even to your old age, I am He, And even to gray hairs I will carry you! I have made, and I will bear; Even I will carry, and will deliver you. “To whom will you liken Me, and make Me equal And compare Me, that we should be alike?

I've titled this Bible Study - "God Understands Aging" and I just want to go through a good portion of Ecclesiastes 12 in order to begin to understand what our seniors are going through. It will help all of us to be a better friend to our elderly loved ones and it will help us all to prepare for our own golden years which for some of us ( including myself ) - it is just around the corner! So lets begin.....

Ecclesiastes 12

Verse 1 - Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, Before the difficult days come, And the years draw near when you say, “I have no pleasure in them”:We are encouraged to be saved, and to develop our relationship with the Lord in the days of our youth - in our younger days. We must not wait till difficult times come our way to seek the Lord. It is a blessing to seek the Lord early in life and then to walk with Him all our days. We need to settle the fact in our hearts that God is good and He has our best in mind - then come what may, we know we can keep trusting ourselves to Him.

Verse 2 - While the sun and the light, The moon and the stars, Are not darkened, And the clouds do not return after the rain. This refers to vision problems. I can identify with this as I now must wear glasses with graduated lenses - they used to call them bifocals.

Verse 3 - In the day when the keepers of the house tremble, And the strong men bow down When the grinders cease because they are few, And those that look through the windows grow dim;
The "house" in verse 3 refers to the human body that is aging, "keepers" are the arms and hands. The body is not as strong as in the days of youth or as in the mid years of life. The "grinders" are our teeth which also are not in great shape. Some people have many fillings in their teeth and others must wear a denture. "windows grow dim - the eyes once again are becoming weaker and it becomes harder to do one's daily activities and it it becomes harder to see for reading, or doing other fine work.
Verse 4 - When the doors are shut in the streets, And the sound of grinding is low; When one rises up at the sound of a bird, And all the daughters of music are brought low.
"risisng up at the sound of a bird" refers to sleepless nights.
"music brought low" - It becomes harder to hear and many elderly people benefit from the use of a hearing aid. My own mother greatly benefits from her hearing aids. With the need to wear a hearing aid come other problems such as difficulties in hearing in a group setting where there are many people and higher noise levels - such as in a restaurant or a family get together.

Verse 5 - Also they are afraid of height, And of terrors in the way; When the almond tree blossoms, The grasshopper is a burden, And desire fails. For man goes to his eternal home, And the mourners go about the streets
The fear of heights and of slipping and falling becomes a very real problem in our senior years. Things that used to be a regular part of life can now bring fear and pain. Many elderly people need a cane, or walker or wheelchair to get around.
"the almond tree blossoms" - refers to the white hair of an elderly person. Personally I think white hair is beautiful. Elderly people are beautiful people!
"desire fails" - this refers to sexual desire. The years of child bearing are over and love between an elderly couple continues and is expressed in a variety of precious ways.
"eternal home" - death will come to each one of us in our own time and place and those of us who have trusted Christ as Savior will dwell with the Lord forever.

Verse 6-7 Remember your Creator before the silver cord is loosed, Or the golden bowl is broken, Or the pitcher shattered at the fountain, Or the wheel broken at the well. Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, And the spirit will return to God who gave it.
When we pass away, the soul separates from the body. The soul or spirit of a Christian goes straight into the presence of God in heaven as it says in verse 7 And the spirit will return to God who gave it.


Verses 13-14 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, Including every secret thing, Whether good or evil.
So from this entire study we can see that God clearly understands our daily struggles in our senior years. May I encourage us all to trust Him with our lives whatever stage of life we are at. Settle it in your heart to trust him rain or shine, day in and day out, through the days of youth, through the childbearing years, through midlife, and through the senior years. It's only a matter of time till we all stand before God in heaven. It won't be long...... it really is only a matter of time!

My Prayer for you...

Dear Heavenly Father, Please be very near every elderly and senior person who is lonely and struggling with life. Wrap Your arms of love around them and carry them every day. Draw each one who reads this close to Yourself and bless them,
I ask in Jesus Name, Amen

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