“The Lord said to Moses, “This applies to the Levites: Men twenty-five years old or more shall come to take part in the work at the tent of meeting, but at the age of fifty, they must retire from their regular service and work no longer. They may assist their brothers in performing their duties at the tent of meeting, but they themselves must not do the work…” Numbers 8:24-26
Retiring at 50 probably sounds ideal to many as we think about retiring more at 65 or even 70. With today’s economy, it’s hard to fathom how we can continue to survive through retirement, especially if we were to retire from our normal, paying duties at the age of 50. Oh, though, how we long to be relieved of our struggles with obtaining income to provide and survive! One of the American dreams is the luxury of retirement… golf, vacations around the world, having a winter and summer home, enjoying grandkids, living free and carefree.
What is God’s dream for us related to retirement?
It would appear that from Numbers, God wishes for us to be relieved of our normal duties at a fairly young age? Why? I believe it is so that we can more fully focus on and serve Him without regard to our financial pressures and obligations. Retiring from normal work allows us to focus more on His plan for us and His plan for others. Though we may come to a point where we can retire from the struggles of finances in this life, we never retire from God’s work for us. As we mature, God equips us to serve Him in different ways, one of which is to mentor and teach those younger than us. If we were to retire from God’s service, how would the young grow up to understand, to love, and to serve the Lord? In your lifetime, you more than likely have those older people who have had significant impact on your life. They affected and changed your life forever because of their prayers for you, their teachings, their role modeling, their unconditional love. Your peers will never impact you as much as someone who is older, more mature, more wise. My grandma affected me so much through the years with her love of the Lord, her prayers for me, her wisdom.
- “You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine. Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance. Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us. “Teach [workers] to be subject to their [bosses] in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them, and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive.” Titus 2:1-10
Retire from life, but don’t retire from The Life.
- “In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”” 1 Peter 5:5
Father God, I pray for those getting close to the age of retirement, that you would bless them with enough finances in order for them to retire from their normal jobs. Equip them in your fruits of the Spirit and with your knowledge to be able to mentor and teach those younger than them so that they too will grow up more fully in You. In Jesus Name. Amen.