Ed, my neighbor next door, was a little late catching up on the news that the age for obtaining Old Age Security is changing from 65 to 67. Ed was on a countdown of eight years to 65 when he would start to get the Old Age Pension. All of a sudden, Ed heard that his countdown was going to ten years instead of eight. Ed is concerned that he not only has to wait longer, but the next thing he figures is that the pension will be much less when he does get it. I told Ed not to worry, as in ten years or so there will be so many of us old guys and gals that the politicians will be forced to be nice to get our votes.
When Baby Boomers were working and paying taxes, they weren’t seen as a drain on society; but as they begin to retire in larger numbers, they would seem to be seen as too plentiful and threatening pension funds. Strange, how the government never saw this big group coming, in all these years of Old Age Pension management.
It sure reminds me of the Old Testament story of Jacob. Jacob’s son, Joseph, had a big problem with his brothers and ended up as a slave in Egypt. By God’s help, Joseph went from a slave in jail to second in command of all Egypt, next to the very King or Pharaoh. It was Joseph who arranged for the storing of food during seven years of plenty, to safeguard the people of Egypt during seven years of terrible famine. During the famine, Joseph had his father, Jacob, and all his brothers and their families come to live in Egypt with him where there was food to survive the famine.
Joseph’s family settled in Goshen in Egypt and were respected and honored because of Joseph. In time, however, Joseph died. Gradually, the Egyptians forgot him and began to fear his family, known as the Israelites or Hebrews, because they were a large group in Egypt.
Fear causes people to do reckless and cruel things. In fear, the Egyptians made the Israelites into slaves and forced them to work, building cities for the Pharaoh. Fear often results in the dishonor of others and murderous actions. The Pharaoh ordered that every newborn male Israelite must be thrown into the Nile.
The Bible says, “Fear has to do with punishment.” The Pharaoh who feared the large number of Israelites in Egypt was willing to show them harsh treatment. He feared that if war broke out, they might join the enemy or leave the country. The Pharaoh wanted to destroy their large number by killing off the boy babies and working the adult males to death. The females were not considered a threat. The Pharaoh saw a small number as no threat, but a large number as dangerous.
The devil works in fear, but God works in love. The Bible explains it this way, “God is love.” All good and genuine love comes from God. “God sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. God loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for sins. Since God so loved us we also ought to love one another.”Only love can drive out the fear of big groups or vanishing pensions.