If you’re a senior of faith who loves to dig into the Word or you want to know more about Jesus, Bible Study with Debbie on Thursday mornings can be a great place to start. As of July 2020, this group Bible study is offered at 10:00 am on Thursdays in the Grand Villa assisted living community in Grand Junction, CO. Check the activity calendar any month to find out when Bible study might occur.
But you certainly don’t have to wait until a scheduled event to study Scripture. Making quiet time in your own assisted living apartment or chatting with friends in the community about your favorite Bible stories can be a great way to enhance and share your faith. Here are two Bible stories to consider studying; one is a well-known story and one might be less well-known to you.
Where to find the story: 1 Samuel 16
Potential memory verse to meditate on: “The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7b
Notes on the story for seniors: The Lord tells his prophet, Samuel, that he will anoint another king of Israel. Samuel, who saw Saul fail at this position and the issues that it caused, probably looked forward to this anointed. He might have been excited to see what strong, potent leader God would uncover.
God instructs Samuel to visit the home of Jesse, implying that one of Jesse’s sons will be the new king. In turn, each of Jesse’s sons are presented. Eliab, Abinadab, Shammah and four other large, strong men are paraded in front of Samuel, and each time, the Lord says, “No, not this one.”
Each of these young men looked kingly in Samuel’s eyes. But God reminded Samuel that the Lord doesn’t see in the same way people see, and in the end it is the youngest son — David — who is anointed king.
This is a great story, and one that is often taught to young people because it’s an illustration that God calls young people to great things too. But the truth is that God is always calling, and that call is for people of all ages. The Lord doesn’t see people in assisted living communities as seniors in retirement; he sees them as his children and calls them to live in his name daily.
It’s not about your outward appearance or age. It’s about your heart.
Where to find the story: 1 Kings 22
Potential memory verse to meditate on: “But Micaiah said, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, I can tell him only what the Lord tells me.’” 1 Kings 22:14
Notes on the story for seniors: This is a story about King Ahab, who was one of the wicked kings of Israel. During this time, Israel is at war with Aram. Ahab asks Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, if he will fight with him in Ramoth Gilead against the king of Aram.
Jehoshaphat wants to support the king of Israel, but he also wants to see what God has to say about it. He asks Ahab to consult the Lord. Ahab’s not a fan of the prophets of God, but he does consult with 400 other prophets, who all agree that he will be victorious at Ramoth Gilead.
But Jehoshaphat isn’t convinced. “Don’t you have a true prophet of the Lord?” he asks. Ahab does have one prophet of God to call on; his name is Micaiah. But Ahab hates this man, who always speaks the truth about what God shows him — mostly because that tends to be information that’s not in Ahab’s favor.
Ahab calls Micaiah before them anyway and asks about going down to Ramoth Gilead. Micaiah speaks the truth God has shown him, and it’s not in Ahab’s favor, so Ahab ignores it and throws Micaiah in prison. In the end, it’s a fatal mistake for Ahab, who dies in battle against the king of Aram just as Micaiah prophesied.
This is one of several stories in the Old Testament about Israel — its kings or its people — not listening to God’s message through his prophets, and there are many good lessons to be learned in these stories from that perspective. But something seniors of faith might consider when studying 1 Kings 22 is that Micaiah was committed to speaking the truth God gave him despite the fact that it wasn’t popular. Four hundred other people were saying a different thing, and the king obviously didn’t want to hear the truth.
Seniors of faith are called to do the same: to speak the wisdom and truth God has given them into the lives of those around them. Yes, you want to do so with love, kindness and tact, but if God has given you a truth, it’s important to live it even if it’s not a popular choice.