The Saints with the Hoary Head

Saturday, August 25, 2012

“The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness” (Proverbs 16:31 KJV).

What is a “hoary head,” and why does Proverbs refer to it as “a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness?”

The Bible uses the term “hoary head” only twice. It is found once in today’s Scripture. The other time the Bible uses it is when God instructed Israel in the Mosaic Law: “Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the LORD” (Leviticus 19:32).

Leviticus 19:32 explains that “hoary head” is connected to “old man.” In fact, “hoary” is defined as “white or gray haired; aged.” In other words, the expression “hoary head” actually refers to the gray hair of the elderly. Interestingly, the Bible uses “hoary” to also describe the white frost that falls from heaven and covers the ground (Job 38:29).

We “young” people can learn much by listening to the counsel of the older generations, since they have had more experience in life. But, notice how today’s Scripture shows that the “hoary head” that is “a crown of glory”—literally the older person to be praised and honored—is the hoary head that “be found in the way of righteousness.”

We do not hearken unto the advice of just any older person, but the older people who are saints, who have trusted Jesus Christ alone as their Saviour and who value God’s Word. They (should) show us how they apply God’s Word to various life situations by being examples.

For example, within the local church, God wants “aged [Christian] men” to be “sober [clear mind], grave [serious], temperate [self-controlled], sound in faith [not an heretick], in charity [deeds of love], in patience [endurance],” setting an example for the young Christian men (Titus 2:2). The “aged [Christian] women” are to “be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers [gossipers, liars], not given to much wine [having responsible minds], teachers of good things…,” setting an example for the young Christian women (verse 3).