The Aged Believer's Cordial
"Hearken unto me, descendants of Jacob, all you who remain in Israel. I have cared for you since you were born. Yes, I carried you before you were born. I will be your God throughout your lifetime — until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you!" Isaiah 46:3-4
There is something dreary in the prospect of old age. When we think of the failing of all our abilities, and the many troubles and ills from which the aged suffer — we shrink back from it, and desire, if God wills — to go home before old age arrives.
But this is perhaps wrong; for God has made provision for old age, as well as for youth; and He can glorify Himself by the well-tried Christian in the decline of life. And if so, we ought to be content, for is it not the great end of our existence — that our God may be glorified in us and by us?
The passage of Scripture at the head of this piece, is the aged believer's cordial. It is intended expressly for him; and while he has an interest in all the other promises of the Word, equally with his fellow-believers, he has an especial interest in this promise. Let us look at the beautiful images employed.
God is a parent, a kind and tender-hearted parent. He is peculiarly attached to His people — they are dear to Him, precious in His sight. They are His portion. He prizes them above all creation. He is strong to sustain, to defend, and support them. His strong arm, tender heart, and watchful eye — are all employed for them — and especially so in old age.
The aged believer is as a child. He is weak. He feels exposed and defenseless. He is timid and fearful. But the Lord, as a tender parent, engages to take him up in the arms of His power — and carry him in the bosom of His love! Like a tender lamb in the shepherd's bosom, on a cold and frosty night, borne across a bleak and snow-covered common — so the believer, in the winter of old age, shall be carried in the bosom of his God, across the bleak and cheerless desert of time.
God will carry him tenderly — hushing the weak one's fears. He will bear him carefully — so that nothing shall harm or hurt him. He will soothe him with gentle words, and encourage him with kind acts — until He safely introduces him at home!
Dear aged Christian, you have nothing to fear! Your God says, "I will be your God throughout your lifetime — until your hair is white with age!" I am your Father — your Friend — your solace — and your confidence. Look unto me — even to old age — I will carry you. I will carry your person, your cares, your provisions, and your comforts. I will bear you up under all that you feel and fear. I will carry you through all that discourages or distresses you. I will deliver you from foes, fears, dangers, and, death itself! Nothing shall by any means hurt you. My arm is strong enough — trust in it; my bosom is your resting-place — lean on it, lean hard! Do not be afraid, love dwells there, pity rules there, your name is engraved there! Trust me, I will never leave you nor forsake you. I am with you to save you; I will do you no harm myself — nor allow any one else.
"Hearken!" Believer, your God bids you to "hearken." His words are true and faithful, He speaks to banish your fears. He speaks to strengthen your faith. He speaks to comfort your poor drooping heart. He speaks, to clothe your care-worn brow, with the light of hope, with the cheerfulness which confidence imparts.
Hearken to Him — not to unbelief!
Hearken to Him, not to carnal reason!
Hearken Him, not to Satan!
Hearken to Him, not to erroneous men!
Hearken, it is your Savior who speaks;
it is the Guide of your youth who addresses you;
it is your tender Parent who seeks to cheer your heart.
"As one whom his mother comforts" — so does your God comfort you.
He is near you — near you every moment;
He will carry you — carry you every step;
He will deliver — deliver you from every danger, trouble, and foe!
He will not fail you, nor forsake you; but will soon set you down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in His kingdom and glory. The way is right — though rough; it leads you home — though rugged; and your God is your strength!