Oh to be younger again…Youth is wasted on young people! Older people often miss today because they are focused on yesterday. As the ‘Teacher’ wraps up this writing. he makes an appeal to live with eternal urgency.

Ch. 11:7-10

7 Light is sweet; how pleasant to see a new day dawning. 8 When people live to be very old, let them rejoice in every day of life. But let them also remember there will be many dark days. Everything still to come is meaningless.

  • Each day can be enjoyed & is reason to rejoice, because hard times will come
  • You may see light today, yet tomorrow may be dark and unintelligible

9 Young people, it’s wonderful to be young! Enjoy every minute of it. Do everything you want to do; take it all in. But remember that you must give an account to God for everything you do. 10 So refuse to worry, and keep your body healthy. But remember that youth, with a whole life before you, is meaningless.

  • Use your youth to the fullest, you will never be young again under the sun…
  • Be a steward of the vitality you have and be accountable to God in how you live
  • Refusing to worry is being ‘God Dependent’
  • Value health, it doesn’t get any easier to stay fit, so if you can’t do it now…
  • But don’t make an idol of your youth (enjoy responsibly)

Chapter 12

1 Don’t let the excitement of youth cause you to forget your Creator. Honor him in your youth before you grow old and say, “Life is not pleasant anymore.” 2 Remember him before the light of the sun, moon, and stars is dim to your old eyes, and rain clouds continually darken your sky.

  • Terms ‘Remember’ & ‘Honor’ have to do with Loyalty & Devotion… (Priorities)
  • It’s easy to justify living 4 yourself now and ‘Planning’ to live 4 God in the future
  • Orientate your life to God now while your physicality is the best it will ever be
  • Life gets more complicated, you get more limited physically; people blame God
  • Devote your life to him now because ‘It’s all down hill form here’ (after 35)

3 Remember him before your legs—the guards of your house—start to tremble; and before your shoulders—the strong men—stoop. Remember him before your teeth—your few remaining servants—stop grinding; and before your eyes—the women looking through the windows—see dimly.

  • When we have youth and vitality we can be complacent about our need for God
  • If you can depend on God when you are strong you will when you are weak

4 Remember him before the door to life’s opportunities is closed and the sound of work fades. Now you rise at the first chirping of the birds, but then all their sounds will grow faint.

  • We only have so long to be productive and build things (Stewardship)
  • Give God your best years, serving eternal purposes while you can

5 Remember him before you become fearful of falling and worry about danger in the streets; before your hair turns white like an almond tree in bloom, and you drag along without energy like a dying grasshopper, and the caperberry no longer inspires sexual desire. Remember him before you near the grave, your everlasting home, when the mourners will weep at your funeral.

  • Devote your life to him before you have to be careful, while can take chances
  • There is a time coming when your body will lose it’s desires & passions
  • We are all dying…this body has one destination: the grave!

6 Yes, remember your Creator now while you are young, before the silver cord of life snaps and the golden bowl is broken. Don’t wait until the water jar is smashed at the spring and the pulley is broken at the well. 7 For then the dust will return to the earth, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.

  • We are all going to breakdown physically, literally to dust (everything decays)
  • This body will be dust, but our Spirit is in God’s hands

8 “Everything is meaningless,” says the Teacher, “completely meaningless.” 9 Keep this in mind: The Teacher was considered wise, and he taught the people everything he knew. He listened carefully to many proverbs, studying and classifying them.

  • The pronouncement of ‘Meaninglessness’ comes from a place of ‘wisdom’
  • He amassed the knowledge of all known wisdom and shared it

10 The Teacher sought to find just the right words to express truths clearly. 11 The words of the wise are like cattle prods—painful but helpful. Their collected sayings are like a nail-studded stick with which a shepherd drives the sheep.

  • This scripture is meant to communicate truth, direct revelation from God
  • The hard reality of the choice we must make: God-life or Me-life
  • We need hard, painful yet helpful lessons and guidance
  • We are the sheep, God’s Word is the nail-studded stick

12 But, my child, let me give you some further advice: Be careful, for writing books is endless, and much study wears you out.

  • Don’t get caught up in the purely intellectual pursuit of learning
  • Knowledge needs to be seasoned with living

So here is the end!

What is the conclusion of the wisest person who ever lived?

13 That’s the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty. 14 God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad.

  • Fearing God & Obeying in relationship is the sum of what our existence is
  • We are made to live for Christ!
  • He has the last word and ALL the information…everything!

Application Questions:

How do you intentionally honor God and enjoy the season of life you are in?

How can you build a lifestyle of ‘God Remembrance’ sooner rather than later?

Why do you think living longer would over stress an unstable relationship with God?

How can you more frequently expose yourself to some painful but helpful wisdom?