You shall keep My Sabbaths and reverence My sanctuary: I am the Lord. Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God. You shall rise before the gray headed and honor the presence of an old man, and fear your God: I am the Lord. (Leviticus 19:30-32)
Sabbaths, Mediums And The Gray-Headed
The Holy Spirit does not mince words. He puts exactly the right kind of words in the right type of framework to reveal the will of God. There is an emphasis upon the manner the Lord reveals His commandments, judgments and statutes to men so there is no misunderstanding. Often, a command is clarified with the remark, “I am the Lord.” This is where the scepter of God’s rule is accentuated with lucidity as a declaration for man to pay special attention to what is being said. Keeping the Sabbath was not just a command but it was a special reverence required by God to be kept in a proper way and a proper order. Following the law was obedience to the pattern of worship involving the Sabbaths and the reverence to His sanctuary. It required no association with those who were mediums or fortunetellers or those who practice the magic arts. Moses shows the import of this law by reminding again, “I am the Lord.”
In the context of keeping the Sabbaths, reverencing the sanctuary and forbidding the acceptance of mediums, Moses includes the admonition to give honor to the ‘hoary head’ (KJV) or the grey-headed old man. Think about what this means. This was not a suggestion but a law. Keeping the Sabbaths and forbidding mediums was a law that came with severe penalties. Included in the list of moral laws was the command that when a grey-headed old man came into the room, the younger must rise and give honor to God. Imagine the impact of teaching children to give that kind of honor to the aged. Tucked away in all the commandments of the Lord to His people is the family respect for the aged. And it was emphasized with the declaration, “I am the Lord.”
The foundation of the family determines where the church will find itself in the coming generations. When a lack of respect is given to older men and women by the younger generation, there will be a lack of respect for God. The Lord wanted His people to be filled with the honor of age. There is a need to recognize the importance of the gray-headed man who has lived a life of service to the Lord. Young women must learn from those women whose hair turned white from the years of being an example of marriage and motherhood. Respect is what the Lord commanded from his people. Young people must honor those who are older showing kindness and love. The nuclear family is seldom found anymore with grandparents, aunts, uncles and relatives living far apart. Parents must teach their children by their own example how to love and care for the aged giving honor to them. Children must learn to give respect by the way they speak to older folk. Self-absorbed children spoiled with the things of this world will not honor the aged and often parents encourage this. It is not uncommon to see children ignore or treat rudely an older person. The Lord emphasizes the command to reverence the hoary head when He said, “I am the Lord.”
Learning to honor the gray-headed is a valuable lesson to teach children how to honor God. The Father is not a white-headed old man sitting on a glowing throne but the visage of glory that should be reverenced by children. From an early age, children should be taught to respect the name of God, His word and His will. Contained within the command by Moses is this reverence for the elderly will instill the fear of God. A society that honors its elderly will be more likely to give honor to the word of God. Respect comes from showing honor to the silver-headed man and woman who by virtue of the color of their hair exhibit the devotion of the Lord God. It is well to include that gray-headed men should be an example to young men, as white-haired women should teach the young women how to be godly wives and mothers. The color of hair does not bring wisdom but those who have been trained by the years of service to the Lord will show by their gray-heads that God reigns in their lives. Give honor. Give respect. Show glory to God by reverencing the aged.