Daily Devotional

Published: August 20, 2018


When to Retire

Friday, February 9, 2024

Scripture: (Josh 14:7-11 NKJV)  "I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the LORD sent me from Kadesh Barnea to spy out the land, and I brought back word to him as it was in my heart. {8} "Nevertheless my brethren who went up with me made the heart of the people melt, but I wholly followed the LORD my God. {9} "So Moses swore on that day, saying, 'Surely the land where your foot has trodden shall be your inheritance and your children's forever, because you have wholly followed the LORD my God.' {10} "And now, behold, the LORD has kept me alive, as He said, these forty-five years, ever since the LORD spoke this word to Moses while Israel wandered in the wilderness; and now, here I am this day, eighty-five years old. {11} "As yet I am as strong this day as on the day that Moses sent me; just as my strength was then, so now is my strength for war, both for going out and for coming in.

Observation: Joshua had been among the twelve spies Moses had sent to survey the Promised Land, and was one of the only two that came back with an encouraging report about it, cheering people on to go in and take it, as the Lord was giving it to them.  When he spied out the land he was forty years old, and at the time of the writing of this chapter, he is eighty-five years old.

Application: At the age of forty, some people begin to wind down and to prepare for their retirement, whether physically or psychologically.  In some countries, once a person reaches about fifty, companies begin to look at them as too old and look for ways to discharge them.  Such was the case with my father.  When my dad reached the age of forty-nine, the company he was working for approached him with a choice – either he retire with a good compensation package or get fired with nothing; he chose to “retire.”  However, at that age he would not be able to sit still, so he got another job, but at the age of fifty it was very difficult to adapt to a new job and they let him go after a year.  From that time, until his untimely death one year later at the age of fifty-one, he was unable to find another job.  He was considered too old.
     For a man who at fifty one is still young, being unable to find employment led to depression which led to early death.  We now know that fifty is indeed still a young age and many good, productive years are still ahead.  While there are times when we would like to be able to retire and do nothing, being actively involved in gainful employment or some activity will be healthier than to simply remain idle. 

A Prayer You May Say: Father, thank You for the opportunity to work, and for the health to do it.  Help us to keep in mind that working is not punishment but a blessing.

Used by permission of Adventist Family Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.

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