Ecclesiastes 11:9 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. 10 Therefore remove sorrow from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh: for childhood and youth are vanity.
Ecclesiastes 12:1 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; 2 While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain: 3 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, 4 And the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of musick shall be brought low; 5 Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, 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 goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets: 6 Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern. 7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.
The twelfth chapter of Ecclesiastes should actually begin with Ecclesiastes 11:9. For there it begins the instruction to the young man. It tells the youth to “Rejoice” in the time of his youth. And Ecclesiastes 12:1 instructs him to “Remember.” It is but natural for the young to act as they are. But it is the wisdom of the aged which informs them that they should remember the Creator in those days. In verse nine of chapter eleven he instructs the youth that being themselves is not exempt from the Lord “making manifest the counsels of the heart.” (1 Corinthians 4:5)
It is necessary that they do this in order not to have crippling regrets in their older years. This is stated after his word, “Therefore” in verse ten. For as it has been well stated, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!” So walk in the ways of your youthful heart, but “remove sorrow from thy heart” and “put away evil from thy flesh.” And to do this they must “Remember Now.”
The wise instructor is giving sound teachings to the youth that it is far better to prevent the results of disobedience, than to attempt recovery afterward. And we have examples of those who didn’t keep them and were unable to be recovered. Hebrews 6:4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
Hebrews 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: 15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; 16 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. 17 For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.
And this wise teacher does not omit to inform them of the danger of just memorizing and making one’s self familiar with the bare words of the scriptures. Ecclesiastes 12:11 The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd. 12 And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.
For the Word is the Person of our Bread! We must consume Him by faith, venturing out in relying trust upon Him, as we have no other path provided which does not lead to destruction! Proverbs 16:25 There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. But the way of God must first come from within, by the effectual and sovereign work of the Holy Spirit’s revelation into the heart, and then be confirmed by the scriptures to the mind. Isaiah 30:21 And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left. Psalm 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
For it is not he who memorizes the scriptures, but he who comes to the light of the Word, seeking that his deeds are wrought in God. John 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
The obedient man is without the condemnation of those who can say bible verses, but does not put them into practice! For that which furthers the cause of darkness and sin in this world are those who can spout religion, but do not obey it. Matthew 23:2 Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: 3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. 4 For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. Titus 1:16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.
Remember, dear Reader, there are but four types of soil representing the human heart. And three of them fail after receiving the seed of the word. The wayside, stony ground, and thorny ground hearers do not endure to bring forth fruit. It is only the good ground that brings forth the fruit of righteousness unto perfection. Luke 8:15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience. Matthew 10:22 …but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
The Apostle Paul was very insistent to young Timothy to be careful to ‘continue’ living the word which he had learned as a youth. 2 Timothy 3:14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; 15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
Satan knows the scripture, dear Ones! He was bold enough to attempt to quote it to the Lord Jesus! But he is still, and always shall be, in Hell. For it is knowing the scriptures but not obeying them which brings one into a deeper Hell! Luke 12:47 And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
We must not fail to take note of the instruction in verses two through seven of our Ecclesiastes twelve chapter. For in the shadowy types of the Old Testament (see Hebrews 10:1), these youths are shown the future diminishing of their physical bodies. For in verse two we see the diminishing of eyesight as he speaks of the sun, moon and stars “being darkened.” And also references the clouds and rain as the tears of depression.
In verse three he refers to the arms and hands trembling, and the teeth (the grinders), ceasing because they are few. In verse four he refers to the ears becoming hard of hearing. And in verse five of the aged being afraid of heights, their hair turning white, being afraid of something as small as a grasshopper, and their appetite failing. In verse six he refers to the spinal cord and the skull becoming loosed, or broken. And he also speaks of heart failure and of the whole circulatory system being broken.
Then he states that the body, which was made of the dust of the earth, shall return to the earth. But that their spirit shall return to God who gave it. Therefore all those members of their bodies, which were used to commit sin, shall be no more. And that it is their spirits which, being everlasting, should have been attended to above the concerns for bodily appetites.
The Apostle Paul addresses this matter as well. Romans 6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. 19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. 1 Corinthians 6:15 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.
He states that those athletes who strive for physical rewards, maintain a rigid training program, restraining their physical bodies in order to obtain only that temporary, physical reward. But that he keeps his body under control in order to win a spiritual and eternal reward, and to keep from becoming reprobate! 1 Corinthians 9:25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. 27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. (And that Greek word, here translated, a castaway, is the same Greek word translated, reprobate in Romans 1:28, and rejected in Hebrews 6:8.)
For both sin and eternal death come from the lust of the flesh. James 1:14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. But then, that physical body with all its ‘members’ loses all its ability in old age, and then returns to dust after death.
Listen to one of the Lord’s wise and faithful servants as he speaks of this to King David, who invites him to come to Jerusalem with him upon his return from the rebellion of his son Absalom. 2 Samuel 19:34 And Barzillai said unto the king, How long have I to live, that I should go up with the king unto Jerusalem? 35 I am this day fourscore years old: and can I discern between good and evil? can thy servant taste what I eat or what I drink? can I hear any more the voice of singing men and singing women? wherefore then should thy servant be yet a burden unto my lord the king? 36 Thy servant will go a little way over Jordan with the king: and why should the king recompense it me with such a reward? 37 Let thy servant, I pray thee, turn back again, that I may die in mine own city, and be buried by the grave of my father and of my mother.
And listen to the Lord God speak of this to the nation of Israel, just before they are sent into Babylonian captivity. Jeremiah 2:1 Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2 Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the LORD; I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown. 3 Israel was holiness unto the LORD, and the firstfruits of his increase: all that devour him shall offend; evil shall come upon them, saith the LORD. 4 Hear ye the word of the LORD, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel: 5 Thus saith the LORD, What iniquity have your fathers found in me, that they are gone far from me, and have walked after vanity, and are become vain? 6 Neither said they, Where is the LORD that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, that led us through the wilderness, through a land of deserts and of pits, through a land of drought, and of the shadow of death, through a land that no man passed through, and where no man dwelt? 7 And I brought you into a plentiful country, to eat the fruit thereof and the goodness thereof; but when ye entered, ye defiled my land, and made mine heritage an abomination. 8 The priests said not, Where is the LORD? and they that handle the law knew me not: the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit.
We notice in verse two of this passage that God remembered them in “the kindness of thy youth.” But Israel failed to remember God. America, be careful, as you continually fail to Remember Now! gb