Thursday, July 23, 2015


One Sunday night our preacher repeated words from another Preacher, but I’d like to go back a couple of verses before he began:

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. Therefore remove sorrow from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh: for childhood and youth are vanity. (Ecclesiastes 11:9-10)

We find “vanity” from the beginning of the book Ecclesiates, which Strong’s defines as: transitory (with lots of synonyms - transient, temporary, brief, short, short-lived, short-term, impermanent, ephemeral, momentary, fleeting, passing, here today and gone tomorrow) and unsatisfactory (with a shorter list of synonyms - disappointing, dissatisfying, undesirable, disagreeable, displeasing) – neither one really sounding close in meaning to rejoice or cheer.

Childhood and youth are short-lived – I can witness to that having lived through mine, my children’s, my grandchildren’s and starting through my great-grands. Life is short – some a lot shorter than others – then, as these verses remind us, comes judgment. Yet, we begin chapter 12 with:

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; (Ecclesiastes 12:1)

I must also witness to the fact that age alone does not bring us to “I have no pleasure in them,” as long we we think of what another preacher wrote in “Pulpit Commentary” in explaining 12:1:
Set God always before thine eyes from thy earliest days; think who made thee, and what thou wast made for, not for self-pleasing only, not to gratify thy passions which now are strong; but that thou mightest use thy powers and energy in accordance with the laws of thy being as a creature of God’s hands, responsible to him for the use of the faculties and capacities with which he has endowed thee.
Yes – using what God gave us as His creation is our responsibility. How do I know that? The Preacher tells us at the end of Ecclesiastes:

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. (Ecclesiastes 12:13)

The Preacher goes even further and tells us why:

For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. (Ecclesiastes 12:14)

That is not a “single verse doctrine.” It is a theme through the entire Bible, from the beginning to the end. It is what I understand when I say all paths do lead to God, for we shall all stand before His throne, all knees bowing, all tongues confessing, all before Him and His judgment. I’m still preparing for that day, and I pray for those who read His word:

To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily. (Colossians 1:27-29)

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