Moses and Aaron did just as the LORD commanded them. (Exodus 7:6 NIV)
When Moses and Aaron took this step of faith, it was against all odds. Pharaoh was already against them because of their first confrontation. The Israelites were being punished and against them because they caused it by talking to Pharaoh in the first place. They were going up against the most powerful ruler and nation of their day…but they did it. They took the step. They let God work through them that day.
Moses was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three when they spoke to Pharaoh. (Exodus 7:7 NIV)
I point this out because I’ve encountered many people over the years who are ready to give up on ministry because they are getting older. “I put in my time,” they might say. Or I might hear, “It’s time to let the younger people do some work.” Unfortunately, that sentiment is completely against every Godly example we find in Scripture.
Moses was eighty. Aaron was eighty-three. Elders were not leaders in the Israelite community because they signed up for a short-term assignment to lead and were voted in by the community. On the contrary, they were considered elders because they were older. Now, don’t get me wrong. Older does not equal wiser. But older plus God equals much wiser. You see, older people have the benefit of having walked together with God over a longer period of time. They not only know Scripture, they know how to apply it. They’ve done it. They’ve lived it. The Israelite community understood and respected this. The early Christian communities did, too. They turned to their elders for wisdom, advice, and leadership.
Perhaps we can learn something from this today. Maybe we have trained ourselves all wrong in our society today. We think of older years as the time we get to kick back, retire, and not have to do anything of any significance. For Moses and Aaron, however, the best years of their lives and ministries were just getting started. They walked together with God and God used that to set millions of captives free.
So, how about you? Do you respect your elders? Do you know people who are older and wiser than you because they walk together with God? Do you turn to them for wisdom and leadership? What do you look forward to in your older years?