OPENING PRAYER: Father, please open my understanding of biblical truth about retirement.
PREVIOUS KNOWLEDGE: The teacher should review the previous week’s lesson by going through the outlines and the summary.
MEMORY VERSE: “The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” – Psalm 90:10
BIBLE PASSAGE: Numbers 8:23-26
23 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
24 This is it that belongeth unto the Levites: from twenty and five years old and upward they shall go in to wait upon the service of the tabernacle of the congregation:
25 And from the age of fifty years they shall cease waiting upon the service thereof, and shall serve no more:
26 But shall minister with their brethren in the tabernacle of the congregation, to keep the charge, and shall do no service. Thus shalt thou does unto the Levites touching their charge.
According to the common state of life, man has between seventy and eighty years to live on the general average (Ps.90:10). We can therefore deduce that life is lived in four quarters. Twenty years each. “0 to 20 years of age is the first quarter (formative years), 21 to 40 years is the second (creative years), 41 to 60” is the third (consolidating years), and “61 to 80 is the fourth (retirement years). The body also starts to fall apart in the fourth quarter signalling the need to slow down or stop some activities, hence the need for retirement. Retirement, therefore, is the withdrawal from one’s position or occupation or from one’s active working life.
TEXT REVIEW: Numbers 8:23-26.
The Levites are to begin serving in the tabernacle at the age of twenty-five and are to retire at the age of fifty Num. 8:23-24 (The Living Bible).
Two additional directives were given to Moses with regards to the Levites after retirement. What were they?
LESSON OUTLINE 1: WHY AND HOW SHOULD A CHRISTIAN RETIRE?
A. WHY RETIREMENT?
a. Teachers should ask the students to explain why retirement is essential.
b. Teachers should add the following reasons stated below as answers:
i. lt provides an opportunity to rest after long service.
ii. It allows for the injection of young and energetic blood into the work system.
iii. It gives room for the introduction of new Ideas into the service.
iv. It is designed as a means of handing over the baton to a new generation.
v. It paves the way to do the work better and in a new way.
B. Teacher should ask students to mention some examples of leaders who retired in the Bible.
i. Moses. He handed over to Joshua. Num. 27:18, 22.
ii. Elijah. He handed over to Elisha. 1 Kings 19:16.
iii. Paul. He prepared Timothy to take over. 2 Tim. 2:1-2; 4:7-8.
C. HOW SHOULD A CHRISTIAN RETIRE?
i. Upon attainment of certain mandatory age as spelt out by the organisation. For instance, Levites were to retire at the age of fifty years (50 yrs). Num. 8:24-26
ii. Christians should prepare for retirement by saving and investing during their active service. Prov. 21:20; 2 Cor. 12:14.
iii. Christians could meet financial experts and pension administrators who have legal recognition for advice.
iv. Christians should pray, study and seek the face of God for guidance.
v. Preparation for retirement is essential to meet the needs during the winter i.e old age. Prov. 6:6-8; 2 Thess. 3:10.
CLASS ACTIVITY 1: Why do you think a lot of people do not prepare adequately for retirement?
LESSON OUTLINE 2: WHAT TO DO IN RETIREMENT
i. Retirement from active service does not translate to retirement from God’s service.
ii. Two very old people in the Bible (Simeon and Anna) still continued to serve the Lord faithfully despite their old age. Luke 2:25-38.
iii. Christian retirees can engage in the following activities:
a. They can continue to minister in fasting and prayer as Anna did at age eighty-four (84) years. Luke 2:36-37.
b. They can teach/counsel and mentor the young believers in the way of the Lord. Titus 2:2-5.
c. They can connect with families and friends. Prov. 18:24.
d. They can travel and visit some places of interest.
e. They can engage in some recreational and light physical exercises.
f. They can engage in light gardening.
g. They can learn something new, or rekindle good old hubbies which are not strenuous.
h. They can engage in communities services or communal activities for the overall interest of others.
i. They can commence/extend their cottage business without stress.
j. They can be occupied with philanthropic/charity activities.
k. Christian retirees should depend on God and avoid a lifestyle that is not in accordance to the word of God.
l. Christian retirees should avoid the reckless pursuit of vanities and be moderate in their pleasure. Luke 12:16-21, 1Tim 5:6.
m. Christian retirees should be prayerful.
CLASS ACTIVITY 2: What should Christian retirees do to glorify God?
i. Retirement plans and activities are supported by the Scripture to glorify God.
ii. Christian retirees have a host of activities they can engage in to bless the Lord and mankind.
CONCLUSION: The psalmist’s prayer should be our prayer as we age: “Even when I am old and grey, do not forsake me, God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come” (Psalms 71:18).
EVALUATION: Mention anything on retirement which you have gained from this lesson.
CLOSING PRAYER: Father, help me to still be relevant in your service during my retirement.
Num 27:18 And Jehovah said to Moses, Take Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand upon him.
Num 27:19 And set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation, and give him a charge in their sight.
Num 27:20 And you shall put of your honour on him, so that all the congregation of the sons of Israel may be obedient.
Num 27:21 And he shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall ask for him according to the judgment of Urim before Jehovah. At his word, they shall go out, and at his word they shall come in, he and all the sons of Israel with him, even all the congregation.
Num 27:22 And Moses did as Jehovah commanded him. And he took Joshua and set him before Eleazar the priest and before all the congregation.
Pro 21:20 A desirable treasure and oil are in the home of the wise, but a foolish man swallows it up.
Titus 2: 2-5
Tit 2:2 aged men to be temperate, sensible, discreet, sound in faith, in love, in patience.
Tit 2:3 Let the aged women likewise be in reverent behaviour, not slanderers, not enslaved by much wine, teachers of good;
Tit 2:4 that they may train the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,
Tit 2:5 to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, subject to their own husbands, that the Word of God may not be blasphemed.
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