As a senior in 2020 and beyond, it’s highly unlikely you’re going to pick up a sword and charge the hillside against your enemy. It might feel like many of the Old Testament stories don’t have much to offer in the way of takeaways, especially if you’re living a vibrant, peaceful life at a community such as Collinwood assisted living in Fort Collins, Colorado.
But for seniors of faith, the battles of the Old Testament actually offer a number of messages. Here are a few Bible battle stories and some potential takeaways for seniors, whether they’re already a resident of an assisted living community or considering a move in the near future.
The Israelites arrived to the city to find its iconic gates securely barred against them and its walls rising up to keep them out. From the perspective of the Israelites, it probably looked like an impossible task.
Especially when God says, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men.” At the time, the king, the fighting men and the city still stood behind those impenetrable walls.
But Joshua had faith. God had brought him and his people this far into the promised land, always keeping his promises, even in the face of what seemed impossible. Joshua knew from experience that nothing is impossible with God.
And many seniors of faith also know this from experience. The story of the battle of Jericho is a good reminder of what you might already know about God’s faithfulness.
It’s not just about God’s might and faithfulness, though. Because the next thing God tells Joshua is to march his people around the city once a day for six days, and then on the seventh to do it seven times before blowing trumpets.
It doesn’t sound like much of a battle plan, but Joshua had faith and trusted in God. He obeyed, and when the trumpets sounded, the walls came down.
In your life, you may be facing something that seems impossible. And what God is telling you to do or rely on might not make perfect sense to you, but God’s plans are not man’s plans.
Another great example of when God’s plan is far from what man might have planned is the story of Gideon. God told Gideon he would hand Midian over to him, and Gideon is ready to believe in this victory. He has an army all set to go out and fight because he has faith in God.
But God decides it’s too much of an army. If the Israelites win with this army, they might decide they had done it alone. He tells Gideon the army is too big, and Gideon sends 22,000 men home. Ten thousand men remain. Still, the Lord says this is too many.
He tells Gideon to separate the men by how they drink at the river and to only keep the men that drink a certain way. Gideon was left with 300 men against the entire Midianite army.
Gideon obeyed God and followed through on his plan. God confused the Midianites, causing them to fight each other and run away.
A lesson from this story for seniors of faith entering an assisted living community is that size and materials don’t matter. Your faith in God and what he can do in your life is what matters. You may be worrying about paring down your possessions to live in an assisted living apartment, but God is opening doors you aren’t even aware of during the process so you can have a more enjoyable, better life.
Another battle story with a great lesson is when David goes to Keilah. David and his men save Keilah from the Philistines, but this puts David at a disadvantage when it comes to dealing with Saul, who is still king and still against him. Saul hears that David is in the vulnerable position in Keilah and plans to come down against him.
David asks God if Saul is going to come down to Keilah against him, and God says yes. David asks if Saul will prevail, and God says yes.
David considers the facts God provides him and makes a decision. He will not be in Keilah for Saul to prevail against. He and his men scatter and flee into the hills. Word gets back to Saul that David is not in Keilah, so Saul does not come to Keilah.
This is a great lesson because it illustrates a difficult theological truth: God knows what is going to happen in all instances, but he still leaves it to us to make decisions. David could have wallowed in fear at what was coming, but he chose to act.
As a senior of faith, working daily to understand God’s will in your life and to take wise actions can make a difference in how every day goes. And if you’re a resident of Collinwood assisted living in Fort Collins, you’ll have access to a chaplain and other resources to help you chase that wisdom.