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Rebuke Not an Elder (1 Timothy 5:1)

Introductory Thoughts

Though the Bible refers to the elder in various contexts, today’s passage refers to the elder as simply an older gentleman. The elder here is contrasted first with the younger men while the next verse contrasts it with the elder women. The issue at hand is one of respect. It is important to note that the scripture does not imply or teach that believers can never question the actions of an older man. However, it does indicate the method of this questioning. An elder is not to be rebuked but intreated “as a father.” To intreat a person is to plead with or earnestly ask them. Intreating reflects approaching him with respect which is the method by which the Lord demands an elder be approached.

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): In the book of Job, we are told of Elihu. He respected his elders and would not interrupt what they were saying to Job although he disagreed with them (Job 32:6, 11-12). Especially while living with your parents, you are to obey them (Ephesians 6:1). As you get older, you are to give respectful attention to them (Proverbs 23:22; Ephesians 6:2).
  • (For everyone): In Leviticus 19:32, the Bible says, Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man. What does this teach us about Gods method of approaching older men?
  • Proverbs 16:31 teaches that the hoary head is a crown of glory if it be accompanied by righteousness. What does this suggest about the elderly? Are there times when they will err in the Lord?

Prayer Thoughts

  • Ask the Lord to give you the proper respect for the elderly.
  • Ask God to give you wisdom in dealing with an elder in error.