Read: Leviticus 19-20
God is holy and calls us to be holy.
Leviticus 19 begins with a reiterated call to holiness. God is holy, ‘separate’ God is different than man, different in His being, His greatness and attributes. Yet, because humans are made in the image of God, they are called to be holy. Israel was different; separate from nations around them. God gives Moses detailed instruction for the Israelites and how they should live, different. And one of the many instructions was that they were to stand up, respect the elderly and so revere Him. This is just another exposition of the principle of ‘love your neighbor as yourself (Leviticus 19:18)
Throughout Scripture, we see examples of individuals who honored their elders and demonstrated reverence for God’s holiness. Isaac showed respect to Abraham (Genesis 22:6-10), Jacob to his parents (Genesis 28:1-5), Joseph to his aged father (Genesis 48:10-12), and Ruth to her mother-in-law (Ruth 1:16-18). Even Jesus Christ Himself demonstrated honor and care for His mother in His dying moments (John 19:26-27).
As followers of Christ, we are called to imitate His example of love and respect for others. We are called to love and care for the vulnerable in our society, including our elderly, as a demonstration of our reverence for God’s holiness. May we ask God to help us cultivate a heart of respect for our elders and reverence for His holiness, following the example of Christ and the teaching of Scripture, may He be our vision, always.
- In what ways does respecting the elderly reflect God’s holiness? How can you grow in your understanding of this connection?
- Do you believe that respecting the elderly is important even if they have not been kind to you or do not share your beliefs? Why or why not?
- How can you teach your children or those around you the value of respecting the elderly and revering God’s holiness?