The Crown of Old Men
As I held my newborn grandson in my arms for the first time, with tears in my eyes, I thanked God in my heart and meditated upon the following verse: ‘Children’s children are the crown of old men, and the glory of children is their father.’ Proverbs 17:6. With a sense of ‘mission accomplished’ I searched his little face for family resemblance, thanking God that He had spared me long enough to see my first grandchild. Truly a blessing! I wear my crown and glory with humble pride. May my daughter and son-in-law have additional ‘olive shoots’ to sit around their table, for ‘Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward.’ Psalm 127:3.
Upon creating mankind God said to us, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it.’ Genesis 1:28a. Our heart goes out to those lawfully married couples that cannot physically have any children, yet there are many couples that seem content to have only one or two. When I was growing up in Scotland in those couple of decades following the war it was not unusual for families to include a dozen or more children. I’m sure Australia would have been the same. Nowadays 2.3 children is more the norm! And who appreciates being .3?
Abraham and Sarah had to wait many long years before producing a son of their own. Isaac was a child of promise to Abraham when he was an old man. Scripture says, ‘Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise.’ Galatians 4:28. Therefore all who belong to Christ are the descendants of Abraham, father of the faithful. Before the birth of Isaac Abraham said, ‘LORD God, what will You give me, seeing I go childless? He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.”’ Genesis 15:2,5.
Apparently 2.1 billion people, over a third of earth’s population living today, claim Christ as Saviour. Perhaps there are more, perhaps there are less, for only God truly knows the heart. However, all true believers living, have lived, and will live are Abraham’s children. As I looked at my grandson and rejoiced and thought ‘mission accomplished,’ so did Abraham long ago when he saw Christ through the eyes of faith. As Jesus says, ‘Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.’ John 8:56. As to His humanity Jesus is directly descended from Abraham (Mat. 1:1; Gal. 3:16). With father Abraham and the birth of Jesus in mind meditate again on Proverbs 17:6: ‘Children’s children are the crown of old men, and the glory of children is their father.’
Before he died God blessed Abraham by allowing him to see the Son of Man, albeit through the eyes of faith. So Simeon: ‘And it had been revealed to him that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said: “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation which You have prepared before the face of all peoples. A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel.”’ Luke 2:26-32.
Would that we would all see Christ through the eyes of faith before we die! Indeed, the Son of Man is our crown, for we put on Jesus. He anoints our heads with oil, with the Holy Spirit. In Him our cup runs over as we are filled with His Spirit, even the Promise of the Father (Acts 1:4). Thus all God’s children somehow see Christ before they go to await their resurrection.
After His physical resurrection, the Son of Man bodily ascended to the Ancient of Days to receive His crown (Dan. 7:13). The writer to the Hebrews says, ‘But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honour, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone… For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying… “Here am I and the children whom God has given Me.”’ Hebrews 2:9,11,13b. The Ancient of Days has wrought a crown of His children!
As Abraham believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness, so by grace through faith we become God’s and Abraham’s children (Eph. 2:8). To receive your crown, look at Jesus before you see death.