Caulfield Evangelical Methodist Church
- Weekly Pastoral Message -

"Continuing steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine" Acts 2:42

Weekly Pastoral Message prepared by Rev. Murray Adamthwaite
for Sunday 17th August 1997

From the Pastor: Wisdom and Folly II: Age and Youth

In regard to wisdom our present outlook could well be described as "youth-ism", that is, young people up to age 35 or at a stretch 40, are seen as the powerhouse of society, whether in business, science and technology, advertising, and equally in the church. The young are constantly trumpeted as those with the fresh ideas, the zeal and energy, the way for the future. They are the "go-ahead" generation. Those over 50, by contrast, are often "yesterday's men", "old-fashioned", "past it", etc., and often cannot get a job because of that.

Now there is some truth in all of this, witness in Scripture the pathetic figure of an old and doddery Eli as judge over Israel (1 Samuel 2:22; 4:18). However, as is so often the case, it presents a very one-sided picture, and two important Biblical correctives are forgotten even by professed evangelicals:

    1. Respect for older people and their accumulated wisdom is part of the fear of God, (Leviticus 19:32). Elihu rightly waited his turn for age to speak first (Job 32:7). This theme is echoed in the NT too, when Paul instructs not to rebuke an older man (1 Timothy 5:1).

    2. The folly of Rehoboam in listening to the "young Turks" who had filled Solomon's court in his declining years led both to the loss of his empire, and to the secession of more than three quarters of the Israelite people, (1 Kings 12), a classic example of decisiveness without wisdom.

There is wisdom in years. It is not infallible, but age must be respected. It is a sign of the loss of the fear of God when age is dismissed in such cavalier fashion.


Caulfield Evangelical Methodist Church
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