Ecclesiastes 12 (New Living Translation)
Ecclesiastes is a bright book of life. It is bright precisely in its dazzling darkness. It is a book of life precisely because it honestly and nakedly confronts the fact of death. It is a great, great book because it explores, deeply and uncompromisingly, a great, great question: What are our lives here under the sun for?
That is the greatest question in the world. The only greater book than this would have to be a book that gave the greatest answer in the world — another book from Solomon, the Song of Songs. The philosopher asks the question, but the lover answers it. The head thinks, but the heart sings.
–Peter Kreeft, Three Philosophies of Life
We are just finishing reading Ecclesiastes. Coming up next — the Song of Solomon!
1 Don’t let the excitement of youth cause you to forget your Creator. Honor him in your youth before you grow old and say, “Life is not pleasant anymore.”
2 Remember him before the light of the sun, moon, and stars is dim to your old eyes, and rain clouds continually darken your sky.
3 Remember him before your legs—the guards of your house—start to tremble; and before your shoulders—the strong men—stoop.
Remember him before your teeth—your few remaining servants—stop grinding; and before your eyes—the women looking through the windows—see dimly.
4 Remember him before the door to life’s opportunities is closed and the sound of work fades. Now you rise at the first chirping of the birds, but then all their sounds will grow faint.
5 Remember him before you become fearful of falling and worry about danger in the streets; before your hair turns white like an almond tree in bloom, and you drag along without energy like a dying grasshopper, and the caperberry no longer inspires sexual desire. Remember him before you near the grave, your everlasting home, when the mourners will weep at your funeral.
6 Yes, remember your Creator now while you are young, before the silver cord of life snaps and the golden bowl is broken. Don’t wait until the water jar is smashed at the spring and the pulley is broken at the well. 7 For then the dust will return to the earth, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.
HERE is “We Will Remember” by Tommy Walker and friends.
Concluding Thoughts about the Teacher
8“Everything is meaningless,” says the Teacher, “completely meaningless.” 9 Keep this in mind: The Teacher was considered wise, and he taught the people everything he knew. He listened carefully to many proverbs, studying and classifying them. 10 The Teacher sought to find just the right words to express truths clearly.
11 The words of the wise are like cattle prods—painful but helpful. Their collected sayings are like a nail-studded stick with which a shepherd drives the sheep.
12 But, my child, let me give you some further advice: Be careful, for writing books is endless, and much study wears you out.
“She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain.”
–Louisa May Alcott
13 That’s the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty. 14 God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad.
“This is how the book will end.
On this rock we can be destroyed; but it is rock, not quicksand.
There is the chance to build.”
1 Corinthians 15:54 and 58 (Good News Translation)
So when this takes place, and the mortal has been changed into the immortal, then the scripture will come true:
Death is destroyed; victory is complete!
So then, my dear friends, stand firm and steady. Keep busy always in your work for the Lord, since you know that nothing you do in the Lord’s service is ever useless.
Grant, O Lord, that we may live in thy fear,
die in thy favor, rest in thy peace,
rise in thy power, reign in thy glory;
for thine own beloved Son’s sake,
Jesus Christ our Lord.
The End of the book of Ecclesiastes
New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
Thank you for making Ecclesiastes a book I want to reread with a new awareness!