Reading in Deuteronomy this morning gave me a stark reminder of my aging life Christ. In Chapter 4, Moses gives a serious truth for every person who hopes to live long in the Lord.
Which do you want first, the good news or the bad news? Most people choose the bad news first. Ok, then.
THE BAD NEWS
4:25 – When you father children and have grandchildren, and you grow old in the land, and you act corruptly, and make an idol in the form of anything, and do what is evil in the sight of the Lord your God to provoke Him to anger…
As I feel my age more every day, this verse reminds me that long life and maturity in Christ will not remove all temptation to leave the Lord. It’s surprising. We’d like to think the longer we walk with Christ, the less and less likely we are to betray Him and wreck our souls. And I can’t help but think that’s generally true. But the danger of this assumption could be that we assume veteran status will failsafe us against idolatry. The bad news is there’s no failsafe against remaining sin, at any point in life. Even when you’re old, with children and grandchildren, after many years “living in the land” (that’s the Promised Land, mind you), idolatry waits lurking in the assumptions of strength. Beware…
THE GOOD NEWS
4:30 – When you are in distress and all these things happen to you, in the latter days you will return to the Lord your God and listen to His voice.
On the heels of the original warning, 4:30 gives the comforting hope we need. Even if, in old age, you turn to idols and corruption because of your remaining sin, all is not lost. In the latter days, after sin has resurfaced and made a mess, you can return to the Lord and listen to His voice anew. That’s good news! The aging Christian who turns wayward may be tempted to think, “I’ve done it now. There’s no way back. Having come so far, now I’ve done irreparable harm.” No, you’re not out of the race. Grace offers hope, even in ugly “latter days.”