Monday, February 01, 2016

From youth to old age

Old telephone
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Psalm 71:12-24

TO CHEW ON: "O God, You have taught me from my youth;
And to this day I declare Your wondrous works.
Now also when I am old and grayheaded
O God, do not forsake me,
Until I declare Your strength to this generation,
Your power to everyone who is to come." Psalm 71:17,18

No matter what age you are, you can probably name many things that have changed noticeably over your lifetime. Take the telephone, for example. The first phone I remember was a big brown box attached to the wall. It looked like a face with two ringer bells as eyes, the horn-shaped microphone as nose, the crank and receiver on each side as ears. We rang up the telephone operator with our requested phone number, she contacted the other party with their signal ring (combination of short and long rings) and when they answered everyone else on that particular party line could listen in on the conversation.

Contrast that to the smart phones we use today. With them we can not only phone people (many of us hardly use that function at all) but send text messages, take photos and post them online, read books, play games, find information, get driving directions, etc.

Changes in technology aren't the only types of changes. Social and moral changes abound. For example, in my lifetime, the culture I'm a part of has gone from eschewing divorce and living together before marriage to divorce and common-law marriages now commonplace and, in the last few years, the recognition and celebration of gay marriage.

We find these changes in almost every department of life—except one: the spiritual. If we hold to the Bible and its teachings, not that much has changed. The God we worship is the God of the Old and New Testaments and we can still say with the psalmist: "O God, You have taught me from my youth…Now also, when I am old and grayheaded, O God, do not forsake me…"

God's teaching curriculum still involves:
  • Instruction in speech and what to say - Exodus 4:12; Matthew 10:19.
  • Respect for and obedience of God instead of fearing the society around us - Isaiah 8:11-13.
  • Discipline and faithfulness in coming to class - Isaiah 50:4.
  • Learning the difference between the right and wrong; the holy and the profane - Ezekiel 44:23.
  • Learning to love - 1 Thessalonians 4:9.
  • Staying in tune with our teacher, the Holy Spirit - 1 Corinthians 2:12; 1 John 2:27.

In a world that is constantly changing, I find God's unchangeableness a great comfort and security. Living by what He teaches may put us out of step with the culture around us, but how much better to be in sync with the God who is a strong, powerful, and faithful Redeemer across the generations  (Psalm 71:18,22,23) than to build our lives on the shifting trends and changing standards of modern society!

Dear God, thank You for being a God I can worship through a lifetime. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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