Now the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “This is what applies to the Levites: from twenty-five years old and upward they shall enter to perform service in the work of the tent of meeting. But at the age of fifty years, they shall retire from service in the work and not work anymore. They may, however, assist their brothers in the tent of meeting, to keep an obligation, but they themselves shall do no work. Thus, you shall deal with the Levites concerning their obligations.” – Numbers 8:23-26
In my over 30 years of vocational Christian ministry (in part due to due to my accounting background), I have had many opportunities to lead or teach seminars on personal financial management. One topic that always arises (and I have purposely included) concerns retirement. Many governments have set ages at which varying levels of retirement benefits may be received. In addition, many employers offer retirement “packages” and even the option of “early retirement” to make the way for a younger (lower cost) work force. So, what does the Bible say about this topic?
The only reference to the subject is the one noted above, and it concerns the age of those who would be handling God’s most sacred objects. A Levite was expected to retire from formal Temple service at 50 years of age, but even then, he could remain an assistant in the tent of meeting. Ceasing all work was never an option.
To “produce” by one’s personal efforts is a blessing from God. Whatever a person’s retirement plans might be, they should not exclude His service. As long as we have a body in which to carry out His will, then we must, and that is His retirement plan.
Fear God and work hard. – David Livingstone