(regardless of your age)
Based on Ecclesiastes 12
Psalm 116:15 (Amp) says, “Precious (important and no light matter) in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints (His loving ones).”
We’ve all lost loved ones, or will, whether expected or suddenly. Every death should cause us to pause and think about the brevity of life. We are all only one breath, one heartbeat, away from death. The Lord loves His creation, and His strong desire is that everyone would spend eternity with Him. Sadly, few really stop to think of Him, and by that, never make a proper choice of their eternal goal. Those that do are one day welcomed “home” with loving arms. Those that don’t….
This writing is not intended to discourage or depress anyone. It is simply to speak of a topic that is real, and one that we all face, the prospect of eternity.
Ecclesiastes 12:1 – וּזְכֹר אֶת-בּוֹרְאֶיךָ oo-z’khor et bor’eykha, “Remember your Creator.” In actuality, this verse continues the topic that began in 11:9-10. The CJB renders those verses rather poignantly: “9) Young person, if you spend your youth only having fun, if you use your early years just to entertain yourself, if you follow your heart as you live your life, and let your eyes be your guide; understand that for all these things God will bring you to judgment. 10) Therefore, remove anger from your heart; and keep from harming your body; for neither adolescence nor youth has any lasting value.”
Then Solomon continues with the reminder, in 12:1, to “remember your Creator.” Remember – the Hebrew is זָכַר zah-khar, and has a deeper, more significant definition than our English word. In other words, it does not mean simply that one has forgotten about his Creator, and suddenly remembers Him. Rather, by this word, we are to consider, to reflect upon, to think upon, our Creator. (This is the first time in the Bible that the term “Creator” appears.) The Hebrew for Creator here, בּוֹרְאֶיךָ bor’eykha, is plural. One commentator notes that the plural is “suggesting greatness of majesty.” It also aligns with Genesis 1:1, which says, בְּרֵאשִׁית בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים B’resheet bara Elohim, In the beginning created God; אֱלֹהִים Elohim is also plural, signifying what believers understand as the Triune Godhead, the three-in-one. That is why, in Eccl 12:1, the word “Creator” is translated as singular.
To “remember” our Creator is to acknowledge that we are His created; we are not our own, we belong to Him. I don’t use the KJV that often, but I like its translation of Revelation 4:11 the best: “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (emphasis mine).
Back to Eccl 12:1 – Remember your Creator while you are young. Most young people have a feeling of invulnerability; we who are older can remember that. Old age seemed a long, long way off. I would say that the majority of young people, not just today, but throughout time, never really stop to consider the brevity of life. Remember Him while you are young, “before the evil [difficult] days come and the years draw near when you will say, ‘I have no delight in them,’ or, ‘they no longer give me pleasure.’” The Message says, “…before the years take their toll and your vigor wanes.” Sadly, I have seen many older people, whose vigor has waned, still feel that they are their own master.
Vs 2 – “before the sun and the light, the moon and the stars are darkened, and clouds return after the rain.” This is just a way of saying to live life properly while you can, for old age will dim your vigor. Or as Elohim told Adam and Eve, “By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” Your present physical body will not live forever.
Vs 3-7, a) “in the day when the keepers of the house tremble,” when the arms and hands begin to tremble.
b) “and the strong men are bent,” the legs and knees no longer can stand straight.
c) “and the grinders cease because they are few,” teeth are lost and chewing is more difficult.
d) “and those who look through the windows are dimmed,” eyesight is fading.
e) “and the doors on the street are shut—when the sound of the grinding is low,” hearing is failing.
f) “and one rises up at the sound of a bird,” sleep becomes more difficult, and one is more easily awakened.
g) “and all the daughters of song are brought low,” singing and music are less appreciated.
h) “they are afraid also of what is high, and terrors are in the way,” one becomes more fearful of daily life, current events.
i) “the almond tree blossoms,” the hair becomes white.
j) “the grasshopper drags itself along,” the once active become less so, or, little things become more of a burden.
k) “and desire and appetite fail” (Amp), or, “the caperberry is ineffective” (NAS), passions and desires of life fade away. The Septuagint says, “and the caper shall be scattered;” the CJB says, “and the caper berry has no [aphrodisiac] effect.” One commentary notes that, “The caper berry was highly regarded as a stimulus to appetite and as an aphrodisiac.”
l) “for man goes to his eternal home while mourners go about in the street,” physical death is not the end of life; people will obviously be mourned for, but they are not gone. There are two ways to go after physical death. The direction is our choice we made in our physical body and mind.
m) “[Remember Him] before the silver cord is broken and the golden bowl is crushed, the pitcher by the well is shattered and the wheel at the cistern is crushed,” young person, consider your Creator BEFORE your life falls apart.
n) “[before] the dust returns to earth, as it was, and the spirit returns to God, who gave it!” Remember, consider, the Creator NOW, for we all will stand before Him in judgment one day. If we follow Yeshua/Jesus, our sin nature has been exchanged for life in Him.
These are basically generalized points regarding growing older. Not every single point will fit everyone. Some are vigorous up to death, others lose energy years before they pass. But without consideration of our Creator, life on its own is essentially of little value in the scope of eternity. “Vanity of vanities!” The Amplified says, “Vapor of vapors and futility of futilities.” CJB: “Pointless! Meaningless!” The Message: “It’s all smoke, nothing but smoke.”
Solomon weighed out all of life; this wealthy and wisest man who ever lived came to realize that worship of the Creator should be the whole object of our lives.
Vs 12-13 – “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person.”
Yeshua/Jesus said, “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love…This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you” (John 15:10, 12).
So live your life to the fullest, and “remember,” it can only be enjoyed to its fullness when the Creator is “considered.”