God Declares: ‘Even to Your Old Age … I Am He’
I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior at age 28. Soon after, I read through the Book of Isaiah and came upon an interesting verse: And even to your old age I am he; and even to [gray] hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you (46:4).
I noted the verse, but it didn't penetrate my soul. However, at past age 60, I have come to cherish it.
Chapters 44 through 47 of Isaiah tell of Israel's idolatry and her resultant captivity in Babylon. Yet despite Israel's despair at being exiled, God reminds His people that He was there from their birth and did not step back and let her fend for herself. Instead, as a loving Father, He has been intimately involved with Israel from her beginning, upholding and carrying her.
The Lord than delivers to her the wonderful verse 4, assuring her that He will never forsake her, that even to her old age and gray hairs He will stand by her, sustain her, and carry her.
What about Us?
As Christians, we must be careful about usurping God's promises to Israel and transferring them to the Church or to ourselves. Rather, we want to first apply Israel's promises accurately, and then determine if we may claim a portion of these promises. In this instance, the answer is, Yes, Christians can claim a portion of this wonderful promise to Israel.
For instance, when God tells Israel, And even to your old age I am he, can the same be said to you? By all means! I don't know how old you are, or how long you are going to live, but the heart of this verse guarantees that even if you reach the point in life where all of your hairs turn gray (or white), God will be there.
Just as He was with you in your youth and middle age, He will be with you in old age. Your blood pressure and cholesterol counts may rise, arthritis may set in, and aches and pains will become your common companions, but God will be with you every bit as faithfully as in the vigorous days of your youth.
Furthermore, when all these things – and worse – come upon you, God will sustain you, He will help you bear up under your burdens. God is not a God who deserts when things get tough. If anything, the opposite is true: God is closer to you than ever before. (Technically, God is always the same distance from us; it is we who drift from Him.)
Continuing in verse 4, God reminds you that He is the one who created you. Of course your parents were the human facilitators, but it was He who sanctioned your existence. And as a loving parent, God has always held you. Your parents held you before you could walk, and stopped when you became proficient at it.
God, however, has always held you. He is still holding you! He has never put you down! There were times when you jumped out of His arms and tried to go it alone. And when you fell, God held out His hands and invited you to climb back into them. Hopefully, you have climbed back into them and are there right now!
What it All Means to You
This world is growing ever more hostile to true followers of Christ. As such you will meet some form of persecution (2 Timothy 3:12), but you must remember that God is constantly sustaining and carrying you and will not let go: Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee (Deuteronomy 31:6).
Note the word never. You will not be forsaken – no matter how old you get!
And even to your old age I am he; and even to [gray] hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you (46:4). God made this glorious promise to Israel 2,700 years ago; He makes this glorious promise to you today.
Rejoice in it!
David Ettinger is a writer/editor at Zion's Hope, Inc., and has written for Zion's Fire magazine since its inception in 1990.