King Solomon, near the end of his illustrious life, shared some wonderful wisdom for kids from 10 to 100. Get your bible out and read it with me from the book of Ecclesiastes, chapter 12.
“Remember now thy creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shall say; I have no pleasure in them. While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain. 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.
And the door shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of a bird, and the daughters of music shall be brought low. And when they shall be afraid of that which is nigh, 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 goes to his long home, and the mourners go about in the streets. Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter; fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12:1-5, 13-14).
King Solomon was and is a ready source of wisdom. The portion of scripture stated above was addressed to kids, the youth of the nation of united Israel. When you mediate on the substance of those words, it can alter your direction and turn your face toward God while you are still young.
“REMEMBER NOW THY CREATOR IN THE DAYS OF THY YOUTH.” This is a call to young people to think of God, to respect his authority and to remember that each of us are created in his Spirit. You are made in the image of God and to recognize and confess this truth to yourself is a great step forward. Never in the history of our nation has the world of vanities given such great appeal to our youth. “What shall the end be” is the real question. Where will it lead without God?
“BEFORE THE EVIL DAYS DRAW NIGH WHEN YOU SHALL SAY, I HAVE NO PLEASURE IN THEM.” Remember God now! Before sickness comes, and the plagues and disappointments in life fall upon you. The life devoted to God is the foundation on which memories will be pleasant and happy when old age suddenly appears. Remember God now when the mind is alert and the body is young and strong.
“WHEN THE SUN, LIGHT, MOON STARS ARE NOT DARKENED AND THE CLOUDS RETURN AFTER THE RAIN.” My glasses don’t seem to help much anymore. My sight is growing dim. Give your life to God while you are young. It’s the greatest mistake we make to give our youth to the Devil. Then when the body is old and worn out, we offer it to God.
“IN THE DAY WHEN THE KEEPER OF THE HOUSE SHALL TREMBLE.” I did some gardening work today – just a little. I stood weak in my knees and shaking in my hands. I do better sitting on the porch thinking about life when I was young. My son came and cleaned the debris off of the roof. He brought and spread 6 yards of tree bark around the house. I feel his shoulders – they are strong. I cannot do what I did when I was young.
“AND STRONG MEN SHALL BOW THEMSELVES.” Ann and I went around the world in 1982. We visited and spoke in 27 countries. In ’82 we were strong, but the weight of years makes us bend. The legs cannot serve for traveling as they once did. Stand strong for God – be bold in your faith while you are young.
“THE GRINDERS ARE FEW AND THE WINDOWS OF EYES ARE DARKENED, THE DOORS SHUT, GRINDING IS LOW AND YOU RISE UP AT THE SOUND OF A BIRD.” You’re only young once. When you get old your eyes play tricks on you, and our sleep is disturbed by even the pleasant singing of a bird. Life has changed for us and after nearly 60 years of marriage and ministry, we are more content to sit on the porch and enjoy the squirrels.
“MAN GOES TO HIS LONG HOME AND THE MOURNERS GO ABOUT IN THE STREETS.” I sit here today and write words of an ancient King that I memorized when I was young. The musings of this wise man was concluded with this marvelous statement, “Fear God and keep his commandments for this is the whole duty of man.” Looking back on his life, Solomon wrote, “Vanities of vanities, all is vanity and a striving after wind”. If you remember God when you are young, that’s what you will remember most when you’re old.
It all begins with the simple words, “Remember now thy creator in the days of thy youth.” I have always had one simple resolution. I want to grow old gracefully and be a sweet old man. It must begin when you are young.