Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

The Library that is Lost by Death

Meditation for the week of April 3, 2011

1 Kings 12:6-8 Then King Rehoboam consulted the elders who stood before his father Solomon while he still lived, and he said, “How do you advise me to answer these people?” And they spoke to him, saying, “If you will be a servant to these people today, and serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever.” But he rejected the advice which the elders had given him, and consulted the young men who had grown up with him, who stood before him.

Recently, I was considering 2 Thessalonians 2 as part of a message that I was going to give on end time events. I remembered that I had discussed this passage with a preacher by the name of John Slabaugh that I knew well when I was younger. He had wondered if I had an opinion as to whether the “man of sin” that is to be revealed after the rapture of the church was the first “beast” of Revelation 13 or the second “beast”. I really had never considered the question before but have thought about it a lot since. Will the “man of sin” be a Jew or a Gentile? I am not sure that this matters a great deal in the broad scheme of things since I am convinced that Christians are delivered from the trials found in that chapter through the catching away of the church. However, it would have been nice to have been able to talk to that preacher to see what he had concluded in later life. I couldn’t take advantage of his knowledge, however, because he is now with the Lord.

We live in a society where being young is glamorized. Younger people generally do not want to spend time around, learn from, or in general associate with older people. When I was a young preacher, I never spoke or offered suggestions until older men had spoken first. Now that I am older, I often see older people holding back. They let those who are younger do the teaching since they don’t want to discourage them. When youth conferences are held, younger men who can “identify” with young people are often asked to speak. Young people don’t realize how much they are missing when they get all their teaching and their values from their contemporaries. Once the older people with the knowledge and experience that many years and many mistakes have given them are gone, the library of information and experience that could have been a help to the younger generation will be gone as well.

Rehoboam made a great mistake when he listened to the young men who had grown up with him and forsook the advice of age and reason. Of course, Rehoboam listened to those who told him what he wanted to hear. No doubt Rehoboam wanted power, and he wanted the respect that his father had enjoyed. However, you can’t demand respect, you have to earn it. The older men knew that, and the younger men did not. There is a reason why people who are to be leaders in local congregations of Christians are called “elders” and not “youngers.” Younger people often have enthusiasm and vision that older people have lost, but the older people have knowledge and experience that the younger people lack. It is true that sometimes older people are stuck in a rut and they don’t want anything to change, but there are times when they do know things that younger people do not. It is too bad that we live in a polarized society where groups of people tend to compete with each other rather than cooperating with each other.

Adam lived nearly one thousand years and he talked with God. Think of what he knew when he died. One thing he knew is that one act of disobedience can not only affect you but it can affect generations to come. I would love to have sat with him and listened to the knowledge and experience that he must have gained during that nearly one thousand years. However, I can’t because he died.

Obviously, seventy or eighty years of knowledge and experience are nothing when compared to a thousand. And in spite of what I have said, I will be talking to the younger technicians and not the older ones when my computer needs fixing. But for guidance with regard to life’s decisions, there are untapped libraries around us. I hope we don’t let them die before we take advantage of them.

Bruce Collins

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>