Of Time, Timing and Age (3)


Today, we’ll look at Solomon’s view of youth and old age.

Bible Reading

(Ecc 11:9) Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment. (Ecc 11:10) Therefore remove sorrow from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh: for childhood and youth are vanity.

(Ecc 12:1) Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them; (Ecc 12:2) While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain: (Ecc 12:3) 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, (Ecc 12:4) 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 musick shall be brought low; (Ecc 12:5) Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets: (Ecc 12:6) Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern. (Ecc 12:7) Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. (Ecc 12:8) Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity.

Enjoy Your Youth, Embrace Your Age

Solomon counsels his readers to enjoy life while they are young. He is not suggesting that we should live wickedly and worry about the consequences later. Rather, he is reminding us that God will hold us accountable for your actions. Therfore, we should enjoy life in goldy ways.

Solomon also calls his readers to remember their Creator in their youth. Some people want to put off thinking about God until they are older. They want to enjoy life and they are afraid that paying attention to God will spoil their fun. But real joy comes from walking with God, not walking away from Him. Not only that, but it has been proven statistically that people are more likely to get saved when they are young than when they are old.

Finally, Solomon describes the decline of old age in a very picturesque way. He uses word picturs to describe:

  • Unsteady legs, weakness, inability to chew food (12:3)
  • Hardnees of hearing, poor sleep (12:4)
  • Fear, loss of desire, impending death (12:5)

The battle against decline is good, but death wins in the end. Solomon counsels us to seek God now, before the decline and difficulty of life hardens us and we end up rejecting God. (I need to say here, though, that if you’re being drawn to God, even though your on in years, say yes today. It’s not too late.)

What About You?

  • Are you enjoying life in godly ways?
  • Are seeking joy by walking with, or walking away from God?

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