“Old Man’s Song” and the Bible

Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member

There is an old dude singer named Tom Rush that I came across a little while back. One of his really good but really sad songs is entitled Old Man’s Song. It’s kind of a folk song so of course, give me a good and sad folk song and I’m hooked. This song talks about a social aspect of aging. In my younger days I was always drawn to music that had social significance of some kind.

But the Bible touches on this subject too. Today, at one of our prayer times here in the office, we read from Psalm 90. I was somewhat familiar with the verses I’m about to write out for you, but I didn’t know they were from this Psalm. But as we were reading the Psalm out loud, I started thinking about three of the verses:

10 As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years,
Or if due to strength, eighty years,
Yet their pride is but labor and sorrow;
For soon it is gone and we fly away.
11 Who understands the power of Your anger
And Your fury, according to the fear that is due You?
12 So teach us to number our days,
That we may present to You a heart of wisdom.

Verse 10—mentioning 70 to 80 years is not intended to put maximum time limit on life. I believe the idea is that no matter how long we live, in light of eternity our time here on this planet is short. Sooner or later all people will “fly away” and be here no more.” Unless the Lord returns first, death will catch all of us. The question is, what will we do with our time and will we be ready to meet the Lord.

Verse 11—Moses is attributed to being the writer of Psalm 90. In his lifetime, he had plenty of opportunities to see and experience the anger of God and be in fear. Most of the time, Moses was trying to talk God out of wiping out the Israelites because of His anger for one reason or another. But Moses also experienced God’s anger. Moses had one lapse of judgment and because of it; he was not allowed to enter the Promised Land with the new generation. Moses is one of my heroes, for several reasons. But mostly because of his humility and his love for the people he was leading. But while it is not part of this Psalm, there is another kind of fear we need to be aware of. The fear I am talking about is the kind of fear that reverences and stands in Awe of God. I don’t know about you, but I long for myself to have this kind of fear. Sometimes I go about my day as if God isn’t even here. Not so today, but there are many days like that for me. Wouldn’t it be COOL if we could be conscious of worshiping God all day? Wouldn’t it be COOL even if we just took 5 minutes out of our day to praise and worship Him! Not as an “add on” to our already busy day, but as a willing and holy sacrifice to be thankful to God for who He is and for what He does. God desires our praises!

Verse 12—This verse asks God to teach us to number our days so that we might have wisdom. This is not just so we can do our work well, and “live life” wisely, although that is a part of it. How much of our day do we really use for the Lord? Again, I’m not talking about taking part of your day and go stand on a street corner handing out tracts, although that would be a good thing to do. Today in our short prayer times, there were several things that came up. One was Haiti. Yes, the loss of life is sad and I know there is sorrow for the survivors but what about praying for Haiti to be freed from the chains that Satan has on it. Do we pray about that for our own country? When it comes to prayer, I must confess that my God is too small. It’s not His fault, it’s mine for not having the faith and trust in Him that He will act in response to my prayers. Prayer is our strongest weapon we have in our arsenal. Yet I think it is a weapon we use the least.

You don’t have to be old like me to think about these things, although that’s pretty common for people my age. Please remember that there are no guarantees in life. Our life is a fragile thread that is about to break. Scripture says it is like a vapor. We see it, and then it is gone. I don’t say this to plant fear in our hearts, but to make us think about our lives and what are we doing with them. My application for all this would be for us to look for ways to give our lives more of an eternal value. I’m not talking about selling your house and running off and serve Jesus somewhere. But if He calls us to do that, we must obey. But please, let’s start finding even small ways to make our lives mean something for eternity. Start simple. Pray and ask God to show you how you can do that. There will be sacrifice. Anything we do for the Lord means sacrifice. It may be a sacrifice that we see the results of only when we meet our Lord Jesus! But I believe we will be surprised to see people from every nation in Heaven because of our prayer and labor for the Lord. What a glorious day that will be!! God bless you!!

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