Ecclesiastes Chapter 12
(1) “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, before the evil days come, and the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them.
(2) While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain:
(3) In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened;
(4) And the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of music shall be brought low;
(5) Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way; And the almond tree shall blossom, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail; Because man goeth to his everlasting home, and the mourners go about the streets;
(6) Before the silver cord is loosed, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher is broken at the fountain, or the wheel is broken at the cistern.
(7) Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was, and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.
(8) Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity.
(9) And moreover, because the preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; Yea, he gave good heed, and sought out, and set in order many proverbs.
(10) The preacher sought to find out acceptable words; And that which was written was upright, even words of truth.
(11) The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd.
(12) And further, by these my son, be admonished. In making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.
(13) This is the end of the mater, all has been heard; Fear God, and keep His commandments; For this is the whole of man.
(14) For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”
Wise Words, Wise Advice
I really like that chapter. It’s got a lot of wise words, and a lot of good information, and a lot of good advice! In the way of good advice, verse 1 starts out with a very good thought; “Remember thy creator, in the days of thy youth.” Remember the Lord, while you have the chance. Remember Him while you have the opportunity, and while you have the motivation, to remember Him.
Things could change; You might have the opportunity to remember God today, and to remember what His word tells you to do, and to DO what His word tells you to do. But there’s no guarantee that you’ll have that same opportunity tomorrow. That’s why we’re told in 2 Corinthians 6, verse 2; “..Behold, NOW is the acceptable time; Behold TODAY is the day of salvation.”
There’s no guarantee of tomorrow, for anything! Just today. As a matter of fact, there’s not even any guarantee of LATER today, just right now; “Now is the acceptable time”.. Today, and right now. I doubt if the Lord’s gonna return today; I mean, I don’t expect Him to; But that’s exactly the time that the bible says, He IS going to come; when we don’t expect Him to! Jesus said, in Luke 12, verse 40; “For in an hour that you do not think, the Son of Man cometh.”
Remember the Lord; “Before the evil days come. And before the years draw nigh”, when you shall say; “I have no pleasure in them.” Evil days are going to come. Bad days, unpleasant days, painful days. Days when bad things happen, and when suffering occurs, and when depression might come. If days like that haven’t come to you yet, it’s only because you’re young enough, that it hasn’t happened yet. But those days will come; That’s more or less, a guarantee. Jesus said in John 16, verse 33; “..In the world, you have tribulation..” It’s there, waiting for us, and we’ve got to face it; We have no choice.
But what an absolute blessing it is, to know that we don’t have to face anything, alone! We have to face it, but if we’ve already remembered our creator, we’ll never face anything alone. GOD, is always right there with us. facing it, with us. “In the world, you have tribulation; But be of good cheer (be happy, be grateful, be confident) I have overcome the world!”
Do you want to face the world alone? I don’t! “(We) can do all things through Christ, who strengtheneth (us)!” Philippians 4:13.
Sometimes, the only way we can face life’s tribulations, and life’s challenges, is through our faith in Christ, and in God. Without that, where would we be sometimes? What about the people who don’t have that? Can you imagine?
“Remember thy Creator, before the years draw nigh, and you shall say; I have no pleasure in them.” Get your relationship with God, established FIRST, before that happens. Before you have no pleasure in life, and turn farther away from God.
Sometimes, tragedies like sickness, or accident, have been the very things that have brought people TO God. But not always, and so the scripture advises us to remember God, “BEFORE the evil days come”. God says; Take the safe route, don’t gamble with your soul.
Consider this.. What if someone never does “remember his creator”, in his youth, and right up into adulthood. And then something bad happens. And maybe that tragedy does turn that person to God. Then what? Well, it depends on where that person decides to look, when they turn to God. It depends on who’s there for them, to help them find God?
On The Rebound
I’m sure that you’ve heard stories about people who’ve had relationships go bad. And they end up alone, and vulnerable, and we talk about them being “on the rebound”, from that broken relationship. And those people can be very vulnerable, to the first person who comes along, and then they might think that they’ve “fallen in love” with that person. But maybe that person isn’t really a very good person after all. And that new relationship can turn out worse than the first one.
And so now consider this; A person neglects God “in his youth” so to speak. And then the “evil days come”. And they’re hurting, and they’re depressed, and they’re vulnerable. And they decide to turn to God. And they have a neighbor who’s a member of a denomination, and that neighbor “lovingly” brings them into that denomination, where they think they’ve found God, and they live happily ever-after.
But it’s really not, “happily ever-after”, is it? No, it isn’t. They’re still lost, just like they were before. But now that they’ve come to know something that they THINK is the true God, how are you ever going to convince them that they need to change, and learn of a different God? The one true God!
Sometimes a member of the church IS the person who’s right there, at the right time, and the person who decides to turn to God, does find salvation; But what’s the chances?
To put it quite simply; Waiting until the evil days come, is pretty risky business! So then, what’s the only “safe” way to go? Well, the one and only “safe” way, is.. “To remember thy creator in they youth, BEFORE the evil days come, and the years draw nigh, when you shall say; I have no pleasure in them.”
When Evil Comes, Opportunity May Leave
The bible uses some pretty interesting “figurative language” to describe those “evil days” that eventually always come. And I’m not going to get overly involved, with trying to define to you, what every analogy means here, but listen to the words of God, and you can no doubt imagine what the analogies are.
So I’m going to read again from Ecclesiastes 12, verses 2 thru 7, and I’ll be adding the words, “Remember thy Creator” in front of each verse. So, here we go..
Remember thy creator, “before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars are darkened, and the clouds return, after the rain..”
Remember thy Creator, BEORE “the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease, because they are few, and those that look out the window shall be darkened..”
Remember thy Creator, BEFORE “the doors shall be shut in the street, when the sound of grinding is low, and one shall rise up at the voice of a bird, and all the daughters of music shall be brought low..”
Remember thy Creator, BEFORE “they shall be afraid of that which is high, and terrors shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall blossom, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail, because man goes to his everlasting home, and he mourners go about the streets..”
Remember thy Creator, BEFORE “the silver cord is loosed, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher is broken at the fountain, or the wheel is broken at the cistern..”
Remember thy Creator, BEFORE “the dust returneth to the earth as it was, and the spirit returneth to God who gave it.”
Now is the Time, Today is the Day
Do you remember what the scriptures says in Ecclesiastes 3, and verse 1? “For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.” And the time and the season, to remember thy Creator is “in they youth”. The time is today. You’ll never be any younger, than you are right now.
Think about what can happen if someone continually puts off, remembering his creator. Their heart could become hardened. Their sins might just make them “calloused” toward any future repentance that they need. In 1 Timothy 4, verse 2, the bible speaks of those conscience has been “seared, as with a hot iron.” Then it’s too late. Then the opportunity might be gone.
But you might say; God allows for repentance, and obedience, right up until our very last day. And that’s right, God does “allow” for it. But is it possible for you? Here’s a fact to consider; Old habits die hard. In other words, the longer you persist in bad habits, the harder it is to break those bad habits.
The scripture says in Proverbs 22:6; “Train up a child in the way he should go, and even when he’s old, he will not depart from it.” It would seem that God is telling us that even “good habits” die hard. And we don’t want good habits to die. We want to nurture those good habits, don’t we? And when is the time to create those good habits? In thy youth, is the time to create them.
What about now? Is now a good time to create good habits? What if you’re not a “youth” any longer? Can you still create good habits, by remembering God? Absolutely! You’ll never be any younger, than you are right now.
Preach the Word, Be Instant In Season and Out (2 Tim 4:2)
The reason that we continually preach the word, is that it’s always a good time, to create, or to nurture, good habits, of obedience to God. Listen to verses 9 thru 11, of our text;
“And moreover, because the preacher was wise, (not this preacher, but God is the preacher who is wise enough to teach us His knowledge) he still taught the people knowledge; Yea, he gave good heed, and sought out, and set in order, many proverbs. The preacher sought to find out acceptable words; And that which was written was upright, even words of truth. The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd.”
Listen again to that last verse; “The words of the wise are as goads..” God’s words prod us along; They keep us going, they keep us trying, and they motivate us, and encourage us. But we need to be wise enough to make ourselves available to hear His words, and we need to be listening to those words! Then God’s words will prod us along, and they’ll keep us “keeping on”. But we’re not going to be “goaded”, if we’re not even “yoked up” so to speak.
The words of the wise, are.. “as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies..” A Christian, is “an assembly” of the one “master builder”. Ephesians 2, verse 10, says that “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus, unto good works, which God has prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
We’re God’s workmanship, we’re His assembly; And His wise words are likened to the “nails”, that hold us together. “The words of the wise.. are as nails, fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given by one Shepherd!”
The One Shepherd, The Master Builder, Jesus Christ.
I’ll just read two more verses, and then we’ll be done. Verses 13 & 14; “This is the end of the mater, all has been heard; (in other words, wonder no more about it. No need for questions, no need for speculation, no need for doubt.) Fear God, and keep His commandments; For this is the whole of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”
Every work that we want to be seen, will be brought into judgment, and every secret thing, even the things that we might not want to be seen, will be brought in also.
Remember thy Creator, before it’s too late.