What do Bible verses about aging have say about growing old and caring for our elders? Does it address these aspects of life at all?
It does, actually! There are a host of verses within Scripture that detail not only how we are to live our lives throughout old age, but that tell us how we are to treat the elderly and offer hope and encouragement for those who are in this time of life as well.
2 Bible Verses About Aging
Wisdom is with aged men, and with length of days, understanding.
In this verse, we find that with age comes life experience. This, in turn, leads to wisdom.
I have been young, and now am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his descendants begging bread. He is ever merciful, and lends; and his descendants are blessed.
Here we see that God loves us and will take care of the righteous (followers of Jesus) regardless of what age they are.
6 Bible Verses About Old Age
The silver-haired head is a crown of glory, if it is found in the way of righteousness.
Why is the silver head a crown of glory (Don’t worry bald guys. This applies to you too.)? Because it’s associated with life experience, which is associated with wisdom. However, it’s a sign of wisdom if it’s associated with righteousness.
Let’s not forget that it’s the fear of the Lord that is the beginning of wisdom.
The glory of young men is their strength, and the splendor of old men is their gray head.
The young can do a lot of things that older people can’t. They don’t get injured as easily, they heal quicker, they have phenomenal energy/endurance, and are strong. While an older person isn’t completely devoid of these qualities, they’re not as recognizable in them.
Where old people excel – and where the young lack – is in the realm of wisdom. The two great chapters of life need each other. The old need the strength and energy that the young possess to help them (e.g., yard work, moving heavy things, etc.), while
idiots the young need the wisdom and counsel that the old possess.
Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, before the difficult days come, and the years draw near when you say, “I have no pleasure in them”: while the sun and the light, the moon and the stars, are not darkened, and the clouds do not return after the rain; in the day when the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men bow down; when the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look through the windows grow dim; when the doors are shut in the streets, and the sound of grinding is low; when one rises up at the sound of a bird, and all the daughters of music are brought low. Also they are afraid of heigh, and of terrors in the way; when the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper is a burden, and desire fails. For man goes to his eternal home, and the mourners go about the streets.
Remember your Creator before the silver cord is loosed, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher shattered at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the well. Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.
A rather depressing passage, here we see what some of the ailments are commonly associated with old age. Teeth fall out, vision dims, hearing loss takes place, one becomes startled easily, libido suffers, and one finds no pleasure in a great number of activities that they used to enjoy.
The Bible doesn’t view old age through a false lens. It doesn’t sugar coat things.
The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bear fruit in old age; they shall be fresh and flourishing, to declare that the Lord is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.
An encouraging passage, this shows us that one does not become useless when they reach old age. God isn’t done with them yet. They can still be fruitful, accomplishing things for God’s kingdom, regardless of how many birthdays they’ve collected.
But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience; the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things – that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.
This is a collection of practical tips that is given to Titus for how he is to instruct the elders in the early church to behave. These tips are just as applicable to our lives today. Paul tells Titus that not only will following these principles make for a happier home and stronger relationship with God, but it will also result in people being unable to blaspheme Scripture. People will look at the life of the Christian – even in old age – and be in a state of wonder. They won’t find anything to make fun of.
How are these people so peaceful? How are they filled with so much joy? Why are their relationships so full?
You shall rise before the gray headed and honor the presence of an old man, and fear your God: I am the Lord.
God’s commands the showing of respect to the old here.
1 Bible Verse About Caring for Seniors
1 Timothy 5:8
But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
Are older parents and relatives still your own? Absolutely. Roles change somewhat as one transitions through different life periods. Though you were once being fed by your parents, there may come a day when you are the one responsible for putting food on their plates.
Bible and Seniors FAQs
Where in the Bible does it say to take care of the elderly?
God tells the Israelites in Number 8:23-26 the instructions of how long the Levites are to serve as priests. Once they turned 50 years old, they were permitted to “minister with their brethren” and to “attend to needs” but they themselves were not permitted to engage in the work proper.
The Israelites were being instructed here to take care of their elderly. We can see the respect that God commanded be shown for the elderly in Leviticus 19:32 as shown above. Is it possible to show respect for somebody by not taking care of them?
If your elderly mother desperately needs her lawn mown, a great way to show respect is to do it. A way this author likes to think of this is by envisioning an admirable historical figure being in the room. This can be Thomas Jefferson, Mel Gibson, whomever. It doesn’t matter. But if that person were in the room, you would want to show them as much respect as possible, right?
You would make sure they were well-fed, assist them when needed, and so on. That would be how you would show respect. Why not do the same for the elderly if we’re commanded to respect them?
What does Proverbs say about old age?
Proverbs was largely written by the wisest man who ever lived: Solomon (Agur and King Lemuel wrote a bit as well). Because of this, it’s probably a wise choice for us to see what Proverbs has to say about old age.
We’ve addressed some of the verses related to aging in Proverbs above. These verses discussed how it is wisdom that is the crown of the aged. They’ve lived through life – been there, done that, and got the T-shirt – and have a host of wisdom they’ve gleaned along the way. Provided that wisdom is accompanied with righteousness (and how do you get righteousness? Via a relationship with Christ.), then their gray head – their sign of wisdom – is a crown upon them. Even if they’re bald.
Proverbs 23:22 says, “Listen to your father who begot you, and do not despise your mother when she is old.”
If we unpack this verse a bit, we find that old people are worthy of our respect, love, and attention. As an adult child, this is what we owe to our older parents. While there are several reasons why, it’s not hard to see the association that other verses in Proverbs lay out: old people are filled with wisdom.
No man is an island, and to attempt to go through life without any counsel is to try to sail a ship without a compass. God knew we would need practical advice from other human beings. And He tells us to pay attention to our parents, as a result.
What does the Bible say about 70 years old?
Psalm 90:10 says, “The days of our lives are seventy years; and if by reason of strength they are eighty years, yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.”
Basically, the Bible is saying here that our lives are short. Seventy was an average lifespan at the time that Moses wrote this verse, and here he is highlighting that our lives are not majestic. However, Moses goes on throughout the rest of Psalm 90 to showcase that wisdom involves fearing God.
Why? Because our lives are short and we’re soon to stand before Him!
Where in the Bible does it say we will live 120 years?
In Genesis 6:3, we find, “And the Lord said, ‘My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.’”
The context of this verse is God looking down at Earth before The Flood. Adam and Eve had been kicked out of The Garden of Eden and man was procreating and filling the Earth. It appears that there is demonic sexual activity taking place with women. Is this verse stating that mankind wouldn’t live longer than 120 years? We find that many men in Scripture lived for hundreds of years.
According to Verse By Verse Ministry, this instead is God’s setting a timeline of 120 years of God’s mercy on mankind before He was going to send The Flood. For more information with anything to do with the book of Genesis, this author highly recommends Answers in Genesis.
Which seniors in the Bible did great things?
The list here could almost be too long for the scope of this article.
The Bible says in Luke 2 that Simeon was both “just and devout,” that he had the Holy Spirit, and that he was told he would get the opportunity to see Christ before Simeon was to die.
The chance to see the Savior was something that the Israelites had longed for centuries. Everybody wanted to see Him, but few got the opportunity. God’s telling Simeon that he would get the chance to see the Savior was a massive blessing that Simeon would have recognized.
Simeon did ultimately get to see Jesus before he died, and though this may not be attributed as a great action of Simeon’s, it is proof that God loves us – even when we’re old.
What about Moses?
If we look at his life, we find that he was 120 years old when he died. If you do the math, this means that Moses was used by God to lead the Israelites out of Egypt when he was 80. That’s an old man by today’s standards, is it not?
Moses then spent the next 40 years living an adventure with the Israelites as God led them towards The Promised Land.
We can look towards Abraham’s life as well. God promised that Abraham’s offspring would be impossible to count. The problem? Abraham and his wife, Sarah, were old. It seemed an impossible dream that God could use somebody their age to accomplish what He’d just told them He would do.
And then God did it.
While there is no doubt that to be old is a different stage of life than to be young, the fact of the matter is that God can use us – and loves us fiercely – regardless of what age we are. There are many Bible verses about aging, and we just covered some of the most important ones.
*All Scripture references come form the New King James Version. This author enjoys reading from The Bible for Hope, a study Bible put together by the American Association of Christian Counselors. If looking for a deeper study of what the Bible has to say on aging, he recommends it.