People Who Say Such Things: Never Retire


March 12, 2020

Exodus 3:7-10 (NIV)

7 The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. 8 So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. 9 And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10 So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”


I love what God doesn’t say to Moses. He doesn’t say, “Moses, I love you and have a wonderful plan for your life.” He says, in fact, “I want your life for my plan.” 

Notice the verbiage in today’s text. “I have seen. . . I have heard. . . I am concerned. . . I have come down . . .” 

Moses was likely excited to hear the details of how God was going to solve this vexing problem of the enslavement of the Israelites. “Finally,” he must have been thinking to himself, “God is finally going to intervene in this abominable mess and save our people.” And after all this demonstrative reporting, we get this sudden, dramatic shift:

So now, go. I am sending you . . .

Moses must have thought, “You must have the wrong Moses, here.” He must have thought, that ship has sailed in my life. At this point in his life, he is now “out to pasture” in every since of the term. Why would God come to an assisted living community to find a candidate to deliver a nation from the oppressive rule of a cruel dictator? 

The better question may be this one: Why wouldn’t God do this? Isn’t it just like God to do just this kind of thing? 

There are still places in the world where to be old is to be revered and set apart as “the elders.” The idea of putting them out to pasture would be anathema. The aging are the most experienced, the wisest, most spiritually mature members of any community. At the same time, they have the most discretionary time, and in many cases the most wealth. Still, in this culture, they are increasingly sidelined, rotated off of boards, and encouraged to vacate positions of leadership so “younger” people can have a turn. At the same time they are asked to step aside and write checks. It’s wrong. I am beginning to think of these years between 60 and heaven as one’s kingdom prime; comprising what could be the most fruitful season of one’s life. 

Youth and young adulthood are filled with idealism. The tests of midlife leads to an overabundance of realism. But what of old age? That is the question. The mature state of realism is just another name for cynicism. There is a higher way; the antithesis of cynicism really: Dreams. On the Day of Pentecost, Peter proclaims the prophecy of Joel fulfilled, which declares that the aged will dream dreams. 

“So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”

Old age (whatever old means) is not a season to retire. O.K., sure, quit your job if you want and can. You just can’t retire. Your kingdom prime is ahead of you. This is a season to become wildly open to the dreams of God. It starts with the preferred biblical response to God: “Here am I!” 


Father, I want to be a person who says such things. Thank you for your close attention to the affairs of this world. You see and hear and are concerned and you have come down so profoundly in your Son and your Spirit. You are forever with us, right here and right now. Thank you for believing in people enough to call out to us and bring us into your plan. I want to be more and more open to your plan. I want my life to be about your plan, whatever it is, come what may. Come Holy Spirit, and train me to be such a person of faith. I pray in Jesus name, Amen. 


Are you in the category of people I speak to today? Over 60 maybe? ;0) How does what I am saying impact you? If you are not in the aging category—does this positively (and at least biblically) impact how you see the aging and their potential in the Kingdom? 

For the Awakening,
J.D. Walt

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