Today is our Elders’ Sunday and we thank God for our Fathers and Mothers who belong to that category. May your lives continue to give us joy. Amen. According to Gloria Pitze, “ the only thing that comes to us without effort is old age. One big question going on in my mind is that at old age, will I still be bearing fruit? It is easy to bear fruit when you are young. But is there a way to bear fruits when you are old? Our passage today confirms not only the possibility but also the divine plan and desire that those of us who belong to God should still be bearing fruits in our old age. May your life bear fruits even at old age.Amen.
(A) THE LIFE OF THE RIGHTEOUS: Psalm 92 which is described as the song for the Sabbath day contains praise to the Lord for His love and faithfulness towards His people. God is always in the business of raising the horns of His people and making them flourish no matter what challenges that are confronting them. (10-13) Probably at this time, I need to tell you briefly, who is the righteous?
The righteous are none who are righteous by a righteousness of their own, not the righteousness they derived from themselves; but those who are righteous by a righteousness derived from God. Of such Apostle Paul says, “that I may be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness…” (Phil 3:9) There is a twofold righteousness spoken of in the Bible namely the righteousness of JUSTIFICATION and the righteousness of SANCTIFICATION. These must be differentiated from each other unless a confusion will pervade our religious system. The first is the change of our state and the other of our nature. The first is a relative change while the other is personal. The first entitles us to glory while the other qualifies us for the inheritance of the saints in light. The first is an instantaneous operation and applies at once while the other is gradual and progressive. In spite of these differences, the two are always inseparable though distinguishable. If you have surrendered your life to the Lord Jesus and you are striving to become like Him, you are one of the righteous.
(B) THREEFOLD BLESSINGS OF THE RIGHTEOUS.(14)
From our text, the are threefold blessings for the righteous. The righteous according to our text shall be,
1. FRUITFUL-14. The Hebrew word is “ noob” which means to
germinate, to bring forth (fruit), make cheerful or increase.
2. FAT/FRESH-14- The Hebrew word is “dashen” which can be interpreted fat, rich, fertile, vigorous or stalwart ones.
3. FLOURISHING-14. The Hebrew word is “ra’anan” which means to flourish, prosper, new, or to be green. Being green or grey is not just a matter of age, but that of fruitfulness. Therefore, I have seen young men that are grey and equally seen old men that are green. Are you green or grey? It seems the three are closely related and each complements the other. I see a progression from the first one to the second and the third. May these be your experience as you walk the way of righteousness. Amen.
(C)BEARING FRUITS IN OLD AGE.
Out of these three blessings, the first one quickly caught my attention. The righteous shall be fruitful not only in their young age, but also in their old age. It simply means we can continue to make impact even when we are old. While we cannot do anything to prevent old age, there are things we must do to still remain relevant in our old age. If you want to still be bearing fruits at old age,
1. PURSUE RIGHTEOUSNESS-12. There are certain wickedness men commit at youth age that will not be rewarded until their old age. So, pursue righteousness.
2. BE PLANTED IN GOD’S HOUSE- 13.This speaks of your fellowship with the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit and commitment to the things of God. Our passage says we shall flourish in the courts of our God.
3.BE PROACTIVE-14. You need to pray and plan for it. There is nothing wrong in planning for your fruitfulness at old age. Ensure you are fruitful as a youth as well. If you are not bearing fruit as a youth, it might be difficult to bear real fruits at old age.
To our fathers and mothers who are already in their old age, the question is are you still bearing fruits? To us who are young, the big question is will you be bearing fruits in your old age. Will your life still be making impact when you are no longer young? Even at old age, we must bear the fruits of testimony to God’s faithfulness, to the sure foundation of His Word, the righteousness of God’s government, the joy of the Christian life and the blessedness of fellowship with Christ. We must continue to make impact and make the difference even in our old age. The life of a Christian man bears fruits in all places, at all seasons and all circumstances. The Christian at old age gradually leaves behind the weaknesses and imperfections of youth. Old age should be experienced as a nobler and more perfect patience, not a dull acquiescence in a fate that cannot be averted, but that of an intelligent and glad submission to the will of God our Father. Even at old age, we must bear fruits of faith, hope, love, peace, courage, service, commitment, godly example, truth, justice and righteousness. Old age is not a time to go down, but to go higher. Lord Palmerston the famous British statesman, when he was sixty-eight, began to feel that he was old, and said: “I am getting old; I will be laid aside. There will be no further use for me.” But Lord Palmerston went to a library in order to find some particular subject, and while looking for it, he read about the life of John Wesley that he preached and taught with unabated strength when he was eighty-six years old. Palmerston’s hopes began to rise. Then he read about another man who influenced the world more after he was eighty years of age than during all his previous life. Then, Lord Palmerston found in the same library on the same day the life of Julius Caesar, and he read that Julius Caesar was never a soldier and had never visited a military camp until he was forty-nine years of age. According to Lord Palmerston, he learned that there had been wrought out in human life the greatest things man has ever done between fifty and sixty years of age. Then he declared: “I did not get what I went to the library to secure, but I secured what was far better—hope.” Actually history records that many people made some of their greatest contributions to society after the age of 65.The Earl of Halsburg was 90 when he began preparing a 20-volume revision of English law. Galileo made his greatest discovery when he was 73. At age 69, Hudson Taylor was still vigorously working on the mission field, opening up new territories in Indochina. And in the Bible, Caleb was 85, when he took the stronghold of the giants (Josh. 14:10-12) As we celebrate our Elders’ Day, let us all determine to bear fruits even better fruits in our old age. By the grace of God we shall be Fruitful, Fat and Flourishing. Our lives shall continue to declare to the world that our Lord is upright and there is no unrighteousness in Him. Amen. (15)Shalom.