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Good Morning.

You shall rise before the gray headed and honor the presence of an old man, and fear your God: I am the Lord. (Leviticus 19:32)

Not only does Scripture instruct us to honor our parents, “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth” (Ephesians 6:3), but we are also instructed to revere those who are older –- those whose hair has whitened with age. With the maturing in years comes experience and, hopefully, the wisdom that is needed in life. Therefore, the younger generation would do well to pay respect to those who have been around a bit longer because, if we listen, we might avoid some problems later on. That reason alone should be enough to encourage proper respect for our seniors, but just in case the importance eludes us, God connects it to honoring Him. In other words, if we don’t regard our senior brothers and sisters with proper respect, how can we possibly say we “fear your God”?

Unfortunately, this kind of respect is not what we most commonly see in modern culture. To the contrary it seems more common, and more acceptable, to dispute and criticize the previous generations, including those who are dead and gone. More than “rising before” the older generation to honor them, in today’s world it is more likely to see people “rising up against” the older generation in disdain. Of course, this isn’t new or else God would not have reminded Moses’ generation to be careful about how they treat their elders and to show respect for what their elders had taught them. In fact, even before Moses, Esau epitomized those who hated what was precious to their ancestors and who lived only to please themselves.

As followers of Messiah, we are not to follow Esau’s example; we are to behave as Messiah demonstrated — doing only what His Father told Him to do. So as time marches on and technology and information increases, let’s not lose sight of the wisdom that can be found in those who have walked this earth longer than we, and especially those who have been walking with God. They are a blessing and gift from the Almighty that we need to glean from as long as they are here. Furthermore, in treating them with honor, we acknowledge and show respect for the One who has no beginning and no end. So then, let us be as Messiah was — saying what the Father tells us and doing what He has instructed  us to do.

Blessings and Shalom,  




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