Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Respect Old People

It is not just common courtesy, it is part of every human's obligation under the fifth commandment.

Leviticus 19:32 Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the LORD.

The phrase "hoary head" is essentially the concept of a head covered by frost - i.e. a head with white or gray hair. The concept of "rise up before" means to stand when they enter the room, which was a sign of respect in those times - and continues to be a sign of respect in many places even to the present day. Likewise, to honor the face of the old man means to be respectful and to show that respect.

The "Western" societies all too often forget about this command. Increasingly, the old are disrespected and even disdained. This is contrary to the law of God. As Christians, we are called to show respect for the elderly and to honor them. This is a general relation between the young and old, which (like the distinction between the sexes) has a heightened emphasis within the family unit. One's elderly father or mother is especially to be honored, just as a woman is to show a particular respect to her own husband. The same goes for children and adults. Children are to be deferential to adults, but they show a particular degree of deference to their own parents.

Finally, let me provide a reminder to any of my readers who happen to be old:

Proverbs 16:31 The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.

May I encourage you so to be found!



Rhology said...

You know, if you're looking for more respect, just ask. No need to get all indirect, end-around like that.


natamllc said...

I am a Native American and in our culture we are taught to respect our elders.

Mostly we do not need to be taught to respect our elders seeing our elders do most if not all the training up of our children. Their love inspires respect.

My sister and I are having a struggle right now with my mother who is aged, in her 80's. Because of the advent of "old folks" homes and the internet my mother doesn't want to come and live out her days with either of us. She likes living in that elder care home instead!

My Grandmother on the other hand died in my home at the ripe old age of 99! It was a most natural death. I wasn't present but my wife was. The Good Lord woke my wife up from a deep sleep and directed her to go to my Grandmother's room. When she walked into the room my Grandmother turned over and reached out her hand and grabbed my wife's and smiled and breathed her last breath on earth!

I was out of town and missed the joy of her coronation day!

Eph 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
Eph 6:2 "Honor your father and mother" (this is the first commandment with a promise),
Eph 6:3 "that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land."

We have a saying around here that goes like this: it is, "in the Lord", today as good a day to die as it is to live!

Paul the Apostle wrote the Romans this:::>

Rom 6:8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.
Rom 6:9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him.
Rom 6:10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God.
Rom 6:11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.