Summary: In today's lesson we are urged to remember our Creator before it is too late in order that we may truly enjoy life.
In his quest to find out how to live a meaningful life the writer of Ecclesiastes urges his readers to remember their Creator before it is too late in order that they may truly enjoy life.
Let us read Ecclesiastes 11:7-12:8:
7 Light is sweet, and it is pleasant for the eyes to see the sun.
8 So if a person lives many years, let him rejoice in them all; but let him remember that the days of darkness will be many. All that comes is vanity.
9 Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Walk in the ways of your heart and the sight of your eyes. But know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.
10 Remove vexation from your heart, and put away pain from your body, for youth and the dawn of life are vanity.
12:1 Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say, “I have no pleasure in them”; 2 before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars are darkened and the clouds return after the rain, 3 in the day when the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men are bent, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those who look through the windows are dimmed, 4 and the doors on the street are shut—when the sound of the grinding is low, and one rises up at the sound of a bird, and all the daughters of song are brought low— 5 they are afraid also of what is high, and terrors are in the way; the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper drags itself along, and desire fails, because man is going to his eternal home, and the mourners go about the streets— 6 before the silver cord is snapped, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher is shattered at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern, 7 and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it. 8 Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher; all is vanity. (Ecclesiastes 11:7–12:8)
There once was on old man who loved to play golf. But he was approaching eighty years old, and his vision wasn’t very good anymore. He always had partners with him when he went out to play so they could watch his ball and tell him where it went.
One day his golf partners did not show up to play golf with him. It was a beautiful day for golf, and as he waited at the clubhouse, he got more and more agitated that he wasn’t going to be able to play a round of golf that day.
After a while another old man in the clubhouse saw him, came over, and asked, “What’s wrong?”
The first man explained his dilemma: “I was really looking forward to playing golf today. But I don’t see very well anymore, so I need someone to watch where the ball lands after I hit it.”
Now the second old man was even older than the first man.
“That’s no problem,” he said. “I’ll be glad to ride around with you. I’ve still got twenty/twenty vision. I can see like a hawk. You just hit the ball, and I’ll watch to see where it lands.”
“Great!” said the first old man.
So they went out to the first tee. The first old man put down his ball, and smacked it straight down the fairway. He turned to his partner, and asked, “Did you see it?”
“I saw it all the way until it stopped rolling.”
“Well, where did it go?”
The older man paused for a moment. And then he said, “I forgot.”
We all know that our memories deteriorate as we get older. Sometimes, it is simply humorous. At other times our forgetfulness is not really a serious problem, because it does not really impact the truly meaningful things of life.
But there is a very serious danger of forgetting God. When God brought his people Israel into the prosperity of the Promised Land, he warned them specifically not to forget him. Listen to this clear warning of God in Deuteronomy 8:2–19, “And you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, . . . testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. . . . For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing out in the valleys and hills, a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing. . . . And you shall eat and be full, and you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. . . . Take care lest you forget the Lord your God by not keeping his commandments. . . lest, when you have eaten and are full and have built good houses and live in them, and when your herds and flocks multiply and your silver and gold is multiplied and all that you have is multiplied, then your heart be lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God. . . . You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth. . . . And if you forget the Lord your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I solemnly warn you today that you shall surely perish.”