Old People Sin Too – by Eliezer Gonzalez

Mar 1, 2016 2144

ElderlyToo often read the Bible through pious, sanctimonious eyes, so that we do not see what it is saying, even though it is right in front of us. Take Hebrews 11, for example. This is rightly called the “Faith Chapter.” It contains a magnificent list of heroes of the faith.

As each name is mentioned in this chapter, we remember their stories and their great faith. In our minds, these people are the pinnacle of what it means to follow God.

We know that they were all sinners, yet somehow we are tempted to think that their big sins were in the past, in their youth, and that as they walked with God, they became more and more sinless and perfect. Toward the end of their lives, they were if not perfect, then surely almost there.

Consider Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Moses, and David. All of these, and more besides, mentioned in Hebrews 11, committed their greatest sins in their old age. If fact, they were doing most of their learning and growing in the Lord in their advanced years, and not in their youth.

Consider Abraham, who gave up his wife to other men, not once, but twice.

Consider Sarah, the woman who laughed in the face of God.

Consider Moses whose temper in his youth caused him to murder a man, and whose temper in his old age caused him to strike the rock instead of speaking to it, as God had commanded.

Consider David, the brutal murderer and the scheming adulterer.

These were not the sins of rash youth. Like the saying goes, “Youth and inexperience can never defeat old age and treachery.”

So what is this telling us? Why are these people included in the great gallery of the heroes of faith? Not because they were perfect, but because in spite of their serious imperfections, they still knew how to learn the lessons of faith at the feet of God, and to trust him for his grace and mercy.

Its not sinless people who are examples of faith, but sinful people who in spite of their failures still take hold of God.

When I was young I used to think that as I got older I would stop more and more stop sinning Now I am starting to understand. The older I get, the more I hate sin and the more I love him. Whatever he wants to do in my life, I surrender to him.

– Eliezer Gonzalez

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