We will now begin chapter 12 of the great book of Ecclesiastes.
12:1 “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, “I find no pleasure in them”
- Solomon is telling us to remember God who created us. There will come a time when trouble arises, and remembering God through those trials will not be easy. But if we remember him in our youth, it will be easier to remember him as we advance in years.
12:2-3 “before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars grow dark, and the clouds return after the rain; when the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men stoop, when the grinders cease because they are few, and those looking through the windows grow dim;”
- The sun, moon, and stars all give off light. Which can be translated into joy. When these things go away there is no joy, and then the rain comes. Yet after the rain, the clouds come back, there is no light, and there is no joy. The second part of this verse I think is describing physical appearance and strength with the youth. We must remember our Creator while we are young.
12:4-5 “when the doors to the street are closed and the sound of grinding fades; when people rise up at the sound of birds, but all their songs grow faint; when people are afraid of heights and of dangers in the streets; when the almond tree blossoms and the grasshopper drags itself along and desire no longer is stirred. Then people go to their eternal home and mourners go about the streets.”
- Everything described here is talking about the things that happen to us as we get older. For instance, the sound of birds, sometimes our hearing isn’t as good as it was when we were younger. An example of this would be Barzillai in 2 Samuel 19:35. He says he can no longer hear the voice of singing men and women. Take the grasshopper as another example. A usually energetic and jumpy insect, now drags itself along. maybe because of injury, but perhaps because it is old. The same goes for people, we may no longer be as energetic as we used to be.
12:6-8 “Remember him – before the silver cord is severed, and the golden bowl is broken; before the pitcher is shattered at the spring, and the wheel broken at the well, and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it. “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Everything is meaningless!””
- The silver cord, gold bowl, pitcher, and the wheel are all representations of our fleshly bodies. These incidents that happen to them, resemble our death. So Solomon makes the point that we should remember God before death comes upon us, which can be at any time. Without God in our lives everything is meaningless.
12:9-10 “Not only was the Teacher wise, but he also imparted knowledge to the people. He pondered and searched out and set in order many proverbs. The Teacher searched to find just the right words, and what he wrote was upright and true.”
- The “Teacher”- is Solomon, he has written this whole book. He has studied many things, and made sure that what he was saying, he was saying in the right way, but also making sure they were right and true.
12:11-12 “The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails – given by one shepherd. Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them. Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.”
- Solomon warns his son to listen to these words, and not to add anything to them. There is also no end to making books, poems or any other type of literature.
12:13-14 “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.”
- Solomon has finally found what he is looking for, purpose in life. The purpose in life is to fear God and respect Him, without Him, there is no purpose. God will bring to judgment everything we have done whether good or bad.
This is the conclusion of the great book of Ecclesiastes. I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have. It has been a wonderful journey, learning what Solomon has to say about life, and walking through this journey with him, as he discovers a purpose for our life. At first he did not know a purpose for our life, to him everything was meaningless. But as he discovered that everything was about God, he knew what our purpose was: to live a life dedicated to Him, and to bring others to Him as well.