>TOPIC: Theology Of Retirement
MEMORY VERSE: “The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they are fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” – Psalm 90:10
BIBLE PASSAGE: Numbers 8:23-26 KJV
Num 8:23 And Jehovah spoke to Moses saying,
Num 8:24 This is that which pertains to the Levites. From twenty-five years old and upward they shall go in to wait upon the service of the tabernacle of the congregation.
Num 8:25 And from the age of fifty years they shall stop waiting upon the service, and shall serve no more.
Num 8:26 But they shall minister with their brothers in the tabernacle of the congregation, to keep the charge; only he shall not serve at a service. So you shall do to the Levites as to their duties.
According to the common state of life, man has between seventy and eighty years to live on the general average (Psalm 90:10). We can therefore deduce that life is lived in four quarters. Twenty years each. “0 to 20” years is the first quarter (Formative years), “21 to 40” years is the second (Creative years), “41 to 60” is the third (Consolidating years, and “61 to 80” is the fourth (Retirement years). The body begins to fall apart in the fourth quarter signalling the need to slow down or stop some activities, hence the need for retirement. Retirement, therefore, is the withdrawal from one’s position or occupation or from one’s active working life.
1. WHY AND HOW SHOULD A CHRISTIAN RETIRE?
2. WHAT TO DO IN RETIREMENT.
1. WHY AND HOW SHOULD A CHRISTIAN RETIRE?
We may not stay in paid work until the end if our lives, and we may not work at the same pace and for the same hours we did when younger, but work will be part of our lives until we go to be with the lord. That retirement is the only alternative for many who have jobs that give little satisfaction is surely not a sufficient response to work.
Retirement can be a godsend for those who do hard physical work that us difficult, if not impossible, to do as they grow older. It is a divine pattern of giving others the opportunity to inject new ideas, contribute their quota and improve on the good legacy you are leaving behind. It is designed to help you hand over the baton to the next generation especially if God grant you the grace not to die in active service (on the job). Moses handed over Joshua (Numbers 27:18, 22), Elijah to Elisha (1Kings 19:16), Paul to Timothy (2Timothy 2:1-2, 4:7-8).
Although there is no biblical principle that a person should retire from his work when he reaches a certain age, there is the example of the Levites and their work in the tabernacle. In Numbers 4, the Levite males were number for service in the tabernacle from age 25-50 years old, and after age 50, they were to retire from regular service. They could continue to “assist their brothers” but could not continue to work (Numbers 8:24-26).
Christians should, therefore, invest wisely and save up for the retirement year with the aim of living well and leaving an inheritance for generations to come (Proverbs 21:20; 2Corin. 12:14). As a believer, the greatest thing to “save up” is one’s spiritual heritage, which can be passed on to the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Christian should save money for perceived future needs such as when no longer generating income. Before retirement, you should provide for yourself financially through work (2Thess. 3:10; Proverb 6:6-8). When considering how to save for retirement, it is good to pray over the matter, search the scriptures on the appropriate use of money and meet with a financial advisor to counsel you on viable and trusted investment opportunities.
2. WHAT TO DO IN RETIREMENT
Even though we may retire from our vacation (even “full-time” Christan ministry), we should never retire from serving the Lord, although the way we serve Him may change. There is an example of two very old people in Luke 2:25-38
(Simeon and Anna) who continued to serve the Lord faithfully. Anna was an elderly widow who ministered in the temple daily with fasting and prayer. Retirees can teach, counsel, fellowship and mentor by relating how God has worked in their lives (Titus 2:2-5). Retirement is the perfect time to connect with family and friend. (Proverbs 18:24). Retirees can travel, visit some places for recreation or do some light physical exercises like walking or working in the garden to keep body and soul moving.
Retirement can also be a perfect time to learn something new, rekindle/an old hubby or do something that is of interest (but less. strenuous). A retiree can also volunteer to continue to contribute in an area that matters to them and for the success of others. If you are done working for others, you can possibly start your own business (in your field of experience) and have people work for you or carefully invest some of your retirement benefits in business or charity organizations with proven integrity.
Hence, retirement years are not to be spent solely in the pursuit of pleasure (1Timothy 5:6). Our dependency should always be on God. Generations of descendants can be impacted by the faithful prayers of an elderly family “patriarch” or “matriarch. ” Prayer is perhaps the most fruitful ministry outlet for those who have retired.
Num 27:18 And Jehovah said to Moses, Take Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand upon him.
Num 27:19 And set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation, and give him a charge in their sight.
Num 27:20 And you shall put of your honour on him, so that all the congregation of the sons of Israel may be obedient.
Num 27:21 And he shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall ask for him according to the judgment of Urim before Jehovah. At his word, they shall go out, and at his word they shall come in, he and all the sons of Israel with him, even all the congregation.
Num 27:22 And Moses did as Jehovah commanded him. And he took Joshua and set him before Eleazar the priest and before all the congregation.
Pro 21:20 A desirable treasure and oil are in the home of the wise, but a foolish man swallows it up.
Titus 2: 2-5
Tit 2:2 aged men to be temperate, sensible, discreet, sound in faith, in love, in patience.
Tit 2:3 Let the aged women likewise be in reverent behaviour, not slanderers, not enslaved by much wine, teachers of good;
Tit 2:4 that they may train the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,
Tit 2:5 to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, subject to their own husbands, that the Word of God may not be blasphemed.
I know you might agree with some of the points that I have raised in this article. You might not agree with some of the issues raised. Let me know your views about the topic discussed. We will appreciate it if you can drop your comment. Thanks in anticipation.
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