November 2, 2015
READ: 1 Samuel 12:1-25
I stand here before you—an old, grey-haired man—and my sons serve you. I have served as your leader from the time I was a boy to this very day (v.2).
Ming lived for more than 500 years before her demise in 2006. The quahog (large clam) had been nestled near Iceland when researchers plucked her from the ocean floor. After prying the creature open—ending her existence—they initially thought she was a record-breaking 402 years old. But further research revealed that she began life in 1499 and made it to the ripe old age of 507! Fortunately scientists learned a lot from Ming, including data on changing sea temperatures over the last half-millennium.
It’s amazing what you can learn from an old clam! Even more important, however, is the wisdom we can gain from those who have walked with Jesus longer than we have.
Samuel, in his farewell address as a political leader of Israel, declared that he was now “an old, grey-haired man” (1 Samuel 12:2). He had lived through the closing years of the time of the Judges and had now reluctantly agreed to Israel’s desire for a king—something he and God knew was an unwise choice by the people (8:7-9, 12:19-20).
The prophet possessed great wisdom, having enjoyed an intimate, faithful walk with God for many years (v.2). But the people were determined to have a monarch. So Samuel anointed Saul as Israel’s first king, acknowledging that God had allowed them to get what they wanted. But he also lamented, stating, “The LORD your God was already your king” (v.12).
We also can fail to honour the wisdom of those who have walked closely with God—seeing grey hair as a sign of weakness, not strength. But Samuel reminds us that it’s an unwise and dangerous choice if we don’t carefully consider the words from seasoned believers in Jesus.
Those who have walked closely with God for many years can help us draw closer to Him and to His timeless wisdom.
365-day-plan: Acts 16:16-40
Read Job 12:12 and consider what it says about age and wisdom.
What can cause us to sometimes dismiss the words of those who are older? Which wise, older believers in Jesus should you listen to more carefully?