SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 3 (EGW)

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Psalm 71

9, 17, 19 (Psalm 92:13-15). Guard Against Evils Attending Old Age—David entreated the Lord not to forsake him in old age. And why did he thus pray? He saw that most of the aged around him were unhappy, because of the unfortunate traits of their character being increased with their age. If they had been naturally close and covetous, they were most disagreeably so in mature years. If they had been jealous, fretful, and impatient, they were especially so when aged. 3BC 1148.4

David was distressed as he saw those who once seemed to have the fear of God before them, now in old age seemingly forsaken of God and exposed to ridicule by the enemies of the Lord. And why were they thus situated? As age crept on they seemed to lose their former powers of discernment, and were ready to listen to the deceptive advice of strangers in regard to those whom they should confide in. Their jealousy unrestrained sometimes burned into a flame, because all did not agree with their failing judgment. Some thought that their own children and relatives wanted them to die in order to take their places and possess their wealth, and receive the homage which had been bestowed upon them. And others were so controlled by their jealous, covetous feelings, as to destroy their own children. 3BC 1148.5

David was strongly moved. He was distressed. He looked forward to the time when he should be aged, and feared that God would leave him and he would be as unhappy as other aged persons whose course he had noticed, and that he should be left to the reproach of the enemies of the Lord. With this burden upon him he earnestly prays [Psalm 71:9, 17, 19 quoted]. David felt the necessity of guarding against the evils which attend old age. 3BC 1148.6

It is frequently the case that aged persons are unwilling to acknowledge that their mental strength is failing, and therefore shorten their days by taking care which belongs to their children. Satan often plays upon their imagination, and leads them to hoard their means with miserly care, and thus create a continual anxiety about their earthly goods. Some will even deprive themselves of many of the comforts of life, and labor beyond their strength, rather than use the means which they have. Thus they are in continual vexation, through fear that some time in the future they shall want. 3BC 1148.7

If such would take the position God would have them, their last days might be their best, their happiest. Those who have children in whose honesty and management they have reason to confide, should allow them to manage for them and provide for their happiness. Unless they do this, Satan will take advantage of their lack of mental strength, and will manage for them. They should lay aside anxiety and burdens, and occupy their time as happily as they can, in ripening up for heaven (The Signs of the Times, February 19, 1880). 3BC 1148.8

17. See EGW on 1 Samuel 2:26, Vol. 2, p. 1010. 3BC 1149.1