Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained in the way of righteousness.
A counterpart to today’s proverb is Proverbs 20:29, which adds a contrast between young men and people with gray hair: “The glory of young men is their strength, gray hair the splendor of the old.” As someone with a much older brother who still has waves of gray, I’m glad it’s the color and not the quantity that matters.
Notice also that in today’s proverb, gray hair denotes a righteous life. But don’t we see less-than-righteous folks with gray hair too?
Our proverb for today reflects a general belief that long life was a sign of God’s blessing. We still agree, as we often hear someone say, upon reaching old age, “I’ve been blessed.” As an indication of age, gray hair is not a disgrace but a distinction. It’s a crown of splendor, an achievement to be celebrated. It’s a way of identifying the elderly who deserve respect. And if those having the crown of splendor are ones who’ve lived a righteous life, we should treat them with even more respect. They’re people to whom we should listen if we are to live wisely and obediently.
I can’t picture Jesus with gray hair. Yet he lived the most righteous life ever. He wore a crown of thorns, coloring his hair blood-red for our sake. If we’re wise, we’ll give him the respect and worship that he deserves!
Father, thank you for displaying your love in the person of your Son, Jesus. Help us to see the wisdom demonstrated by a life crowned in glory, showing us how to live. In his name we pray. Amen. v
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