Abraham lived a long prosperous life, and was in close fellowship with God throughout his years on earth, other's that can be named are Jacob, Daniel, David, and Noah. Each of them served the Lord well into their senior years. Three people I'll point out in this post are Moses, Aaron and the Apostle John.
In Exodus ch. 7 we read of God's command to Moses and Aaron to go to Pharaoh king of Egypt and speak to him to let God's people go free.
Exo 7:6 And Moses and Aaron did as the LORD commanded them, so did they.
Exo 7:7 And Moses was fourscore years old, and Aaron fourscore and three years old, when they spake unto Pharaoh.
"And Moses was eighty years old at this time, which is observed partly to show how long Israel had been afflicted in Egypt; for their great troubles and miseries began about the time of the birth of Moses, or a little before, as appears from the above history; and partly to show the patience and forbearance of God with the Egyptians, and how just and righteous were his judgments on them; with this perfectly agrees Stephen's account of the age of Moses, Act_7:23 and Aaron eighty three years old, when they spake unto Pharaoh; so that they were men that had had a large experience of things, and had been long training up for the service designed to be done by them; they were men of wisdom and prudence, of sedate and composed countenances, and fit to appear before a king, whose age and venerable aspect might command attention to them. Aben Ezra observes, that" in all the Scripture there is no mention of any prophets that prophesied in their old age but these, because their excellency was greater than all the prophets.'' By this it appears that Aaron was three years older than Moses. A Jewish chronologer says (n), that it is affirmed in an exposition of theirs, that Aaron prophesied to the Israelites in Egypt eighty years, which is making him to be a very young prophet when he first entered into the office. The Arabic writers (o) say, Miriam was at this time eighty seven, so was seven years older than Moses, and four years older than Aaron; see Exo_2:4." John Gill comm.
Moses was eighty years old: "This is retirement age for many, but Moses knew that God’s will was more important than retirement Aaron was Moses’ older brother, so God is going against the conventional customs of that day by making the younger brother more prominent.
Note: These two men were sent to Pharaoh, with God's message to let the people go, and to face and confront the magicians in Pharaoh's court. At a time when most men of their age would be physically unable to deal with such a task-God's work was evident in these two men, by the power and authority they wielded as they confronted and overcame every trick the magicians could conjure up-few who reads these accounts, realize the significance of the power of God exhibited in these aged, powerful men, as they stood their ground and defeated these skilled sorcerers.
Another senior who was called by God in his senior years was the Apostle John on the Isle of Patmos.
Rev 1:9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Rev 1:10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
This island is about 10 miles long, and six miles wide-with virtually no trees, or ability to plant anything, except in a few small areas. He was I'm sure, not in good company with the other's there-and found himself alone, I'm sure, most of the time. The world would place him as one of no significance or importance.
While in exile there, Jesus Christ appeared to him and gave him the messages to the seven churches in Asia, and the Revelation. Below is some important information and facts about John's time on Patmos, which let's us know he was a man of advanced age at the time this took place.
The ancient Christian historian Eusebius says John was imprisoned at Patmos under the reign of the Roman Emperor Domitian.
“According to Victorinus, John, though aged, was forced to labor in the mines located at Patmos. Early sources also indicated that about A.D. 96, at Domitian’s death, John was allowed to return to Ephesus when the Emperor Nerva was in power.” (Walvoord)
I've read some historians putting John in his 90's when this took place, but we can estimate he was in the area of between his seventies-to nineties; well into his senior years.
The conclusion we can come to is, in God's eyes, significant service to Him, comes from His own individual choices, and reasons. He will use anyone, regardless of age. He calls who He chooses, and it doesn't usually fit the worlds narrative for qualifications.
If your into your senior years, and have thought your days of service in God's kingdom is coming to an end-you may find He does not agree, and find yourself back in harness again; putting your hands to the plow, and tilling the ground. Age has it's advantages. We come to understand that speed isn't what's important-it's being diligent, and faithful.
Surrender is the key-whether we stand aside, and let other's move to the frontlines, and we become warriors on our knees, or God puts you in the heat of the battle like Moses confronting Pharaoh. Let's just heed his guidance and seek to obey-wherever He places us as Moses and Aaron did.
Exo 7:6 And Moses and Aaron did as the LORD commanded them, so did they.
In response to the Lord's commands, they never showed any reluctance, or made any objection to any message they were sent with, or any work they were ordered to do, but went about it at once. They conformed all their conduct to the Lord's direction. Let this be our aim, throughout our life, and to the end of our days.
As for our authority in service to the Lord- first, are you sure He's called you? Are you saved? Are you seeking Him daily in your walk in life, and repenting when He shows you a need to? Are you covered by the blood of Christ, and walking in fellowship with Him? If so, that puts you under His authority, and His covering. Our authority comes from Jesus Christ, and God the Father, not man.
Mat 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Mat 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Luk 10:18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.
Luk 10:19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
Luk 10:20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.
The authority the Lord gives, does not guarantee a life of ease and comfort. We aren't promised to become rich. Jesus never told us it would be easy or that everyone would believe us. He made it clear we would face the same persecutions, and hardships, and a cross to bear. It would cost us our lives. Colossians ch. 3 gives us the path we need to focus on:
Col 3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
Col 3:2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
Col 3:3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
Col 3:4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
That was a long wait in preparation for a great mission. When God delays, He is not inactive. He is getting ready His instruments, He is ripening our powers; and at the appointed moment we shall arise equal to our task. Even Jesus of Nazareth was thirty years in privacy, growing in wisdom before He began His work. -- Dr. Jowett
God is never in a hurry but spends years with those He expects to greatly use. He never thinks the days of preparation too long or too dull.
The hardest ingredient in suffering is often time. A short, sharp pang is easily borne, but when a sorrow drags its weary way through long, monotonous years, and day after day returns with the same dull routine of hopeless agony, the heart loses its strength, and without the grace of God, is sure to sink into the very sullenness of despair. Joseph’s was a long trial, and God often has to burn His lessons into the depths of our being by the fires of protracted pain. "He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver," but He knows how long, and like a true goldsmith He stops the fires the moment He sees His image in the glowing metal. We may not see now the outcome of the beautiful plan which God is hiding in the shadow of His hand; it yet may be long concealed; but faith may be sure that He is sitting on the throne, calmly waiting the hour when, with adoring rapture, we shall say, "All things have worked together for good." Like Joseph, let us be more careful to learn all the lessons in the school of sorrow than we are anxious for the hour of deliverance. There is a "need-be" for every lesson, and when we are ready, our deliverance will surely come, and we shall find that we could not have stood in our place of higher service without the very things that were taught us in the ordeal. God is educating us for the future, for higher service and nobler blessings; and if we have the qualities that fit us for a throne, nothing can keep us from it when God’s time has come. Don’t steal tomorrow out of God’s hands. Give God time to speak to you and reveal His will. He is never too late; learn to wait. -- Selected
"He never comes too late; He knoweth what is best;
Vex not thyself in vain; until He cometh-- REST."
Do not run impetuously before the Lord; learn to wait His time: the minute-hand as well as the hour-hand must point the exact moment for action.
(Streams From The Desert)