The Word of the Lord
Genesis 14.13: Now Abram was living near the great trees of Mamre the Amorite, a brother of Eshkol and Aner, all of whom were allied with Abram.
Genesis 18.1: The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre.
Abram traveled through Canaan and settled at the great trees of Mamre near Hebron. The great trees at Mamre were most likely Palestinian oak trees. The oak trees would have provided shade for Abram’s tents and individuals in them.
In the Bible, oaks were associated with power, strength, and longevity in the sense of a long life. The great oaks of Mamre symbolized Abram’s long life. A Palestinian oak near Hebron, named Abraham’s Oak, is thought to be over 850 years old.
God promised that he will be with his servants through life, even into their old age and gray hairs (Psalms 71.18). Christians don’t have to worry about what they will do in retirement. They can use Abram as their role model. God called Abram to a new adventure when Abram was 75 years-of-age.
If you are retired, think about adventures you have experienced since retirement. What are some of them? How did they enhance your life? Do you anticipate new adventures in your life going forward? Adventures can include ministering in your home church and community as well as travel.
The religious order that I belong to includes women in their 70s, 80s, and 90s. At monthly meetings, women report the numerous activities they are involved in. Each is totally excited by what she contributes to the church as well as to her community. An Israelite proverb is that the fear of the Lord adds length to life; but, the years of the wicked are cut short (Proverbs 10.27).
Reflection: Is having a long life important to you? How do you think a long life is related to fear of the Lord? Is a long life span more important that what you do with that life span?