Summary: A sermon from Psalm 71 based on David’s elderly life. Let’s look at some identifying marks of this godly old man! Good for Grandparents Day! (Outline taken from Pulpit Commentary, historical setting taken from a few Sermon Central Contributors)
Sermon for 9/16/2007
Jeanne Calment, at 120 years, was the oldest living human whose birth date could be authenticated. When asked to describe her vision for the future, she replied, “Very brief.”
When the reporter asked the birthday girl what she like best about being 102 years old, she answered, “Well, there’s no peer pressure.”
Finally, John Fetterman in Madison Wisconsin told of an elderly woman who died last April. Having never married, she requested no male pallbearers. In her handwritten instructions for her memorial service, she wrote, “The men wouldn’t take me out while I was alive, I don’t want them to take me out when I’m dead.”
A. Last Sunday was Grandparent’s Sunday. In Japan today is Respect for the Aged Day.
C. The story of David is really quite fascinating when you read about it. It certainly won’t put you to sleep. He grew up as a shepherd boy - having to fend off bears and lions from a bunch of sheep in his younger teenage years. He was spending cold nights out on his own and risking his life to take care of a bunch of sheep.
D. Things got better for him when he went and fought a huge Philistine enemy soldier named Goliath and toppled him with the throw of one stone. He went on to become a great warrior and fighter for King Saul’s army. Samuel even anointed him to be the next king of Israel. Yet just when you would think he was in the prime of his life, in the midst of all this success David went through all kinds of hard knocks. The Israelites made a song up about David, that he killed tens of thousands, while Saul only killed thousands. That irritated king Saul, so much to the point that he constantly was trying to kill David. Even though David was loyal to Saul, he had to spend a majority of his early years on the run from King Saul.
E. Not too long after Saul died David ended up with the kingdom of Israel. Things were again going great. It was then that he committed a terrible sin - by committing adultery with Bathsheba and having her husband Uriah murdered. God said through Nathan the prophet to David, (2 Sam 12:10 ) Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.’
F. The sword didn’t depart from his house. Soon afterward his infant son died. One of his daughters was raped by her half brother - David’s son - Amnon. This enraged David’s son Absalom, who had Amnon put to death. Then Absalom was banished for the kingdom for quite some time. When Absalom was finally allowed back, he ended up trying to usurp David’s kingdom. Absalom was a handsome kid and David loved him dearly. But when he was riding through the forest fighting against his father David, his hair got stuck in a tree, so David’s general Joab stabbed Absalom to death while he was hanging there from the tree. It broke David’s heart.
F. As David got older, he then found his military power slipping away. Several times he had run ins with General Joab and his brothers, but he was not powerful enough to do anything with them. By the end of his life, Scriptures show that David was bed ridden and his circulation was so bad that he just couldn’t keep warm. He needed someone to lay with him to keep him somewhat comfortable.
G. At this point, something terrible happens again. David’s fears in Psalm 71 are realized. Another son attempts a coup. His name was Adonijah. David had planned to hand his kingdom over to Solomon. However, seeing his father’s elderly and weakened condition, Adonijah conferred with Joab and a priest to try and claim himself to be king. Bathsheba’s and Solomon’s lives were in danger, and David’s probably was as well. So David realized that there was only one person who could help him in his old age, and that was God. To see how that turns out and you will have to read 1 Kings chapters 1 and 2.
I. (Prov 16:31 NIV) Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life. I think Solomon is talking about more than just hair. Everyone’s hair turns gray, both the righteous and the wicked! (Unless you go to the beautician!)
J. For the Christian, it should get sweeter as the days go by not more bitter.
K. No one ages well physically, we are all getting closer to death. But spiritual speaking some age well; others do not! What makes the difference? It is all in the attitude!