<<duration of existence, period of time, era>>

Early OT people lived for up to a maximum of 969 years before the flood, then this was reduced by God to around 120 years (Gen 5:27, 6:3). Later, this general lifespan was indicated as 70 years although today with medical intervention and strength of spirit many live well beyond this age (Ps 90:10). With ageing comes deterioration in physical and mental stamina. As much as possible remain active and stay in the mainstream of life; rather than isolate yourself be involved with people, sharing your fresh experiences with God, not those decades old. Keep your mind active and view life as a challenge and adventure, not something to endure.

Each period of life has its benefits and disadvantages, the Lord uses people of any age (Ps 92:14; Prov 20:29; Joel 2:28,29). He spoke to Samuel as a young boy and to a very old Anna (1 Sam 3:1-14; Lk 2:36,37). Caleb at age 85 had unfulfilled dreams. He

It’s the amount of life in our days that is important, not the number of days in our life

declared, I’m claiming my rightful inheritance, I’m still as vigorous as I was all those years ago when it was promised to me (Josh 14:9-14). Age was no hindrance; he had a goal to live for that spurred him on and which became reality. People who don’t have such a worthwhile stimulus and who indulge in a hard life of riotous living, drinking and other destructive habits will age faster than those who have a wholesome goal and lifestyle.

God wants to work through people of all ages – the outworking will be different depending on the age. Elderly saints may not be able to be physically active but can be devoted in intercession and counsel, giving encouragement and support to those on the 'front lines'.

We can learn so much from those who are older and wiser (Job 12:12). However, we also should be having input into those who are younger and less experienced. As we are all in a state of learning be humble enough to assist and grow from the interaction between people of different ages and stages of life, “doing to them as we would like them to do to us” (Lk 6:31). We are to, “Treat old men as fathers, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters” (1 Tim 5:1,2). Honour and respect should be extended to all, especially those who are older and have valuable input into our lives (Prov 23:22).

See also: age of accountability, creation, family, golden rule, honour, integrity, old age, respect.