Summary: What a privelege, to take a look back at life through the eyes of the world’s wisest man, who knew now what really mattered.
Passage: Ecclesiastes 12:1-14
Intro: There is a museum in Deadwood, SD, to the American West.
1. Inscription left by one prospector:
2. “I lost my gun. I lost my horse. I am out of food. The Indians are after me. But I’ve got all the gold I can carry.”
3. King Solomon had a lot, too.
4. here is the daily food allotment for his family and officials:
PP 1 Kings 4:22-23 (185 bushels of fine, 375 bushels of coarse)
5. he had all the gold he could carry!!
6. no one has been “successful” as Solomon.
7. but late in his life, he wrote for us a summary of his life, and drew some conclusions that we need to hear.
8. there is a poignant tenderness here, the thoughtful confessions of an incredibly successful man who made some poor choices, and now lives with a certain sadness.
9. but his choices and his God-given wisdom makes him a tremendous teacher for the rest of us.
10. He has one main piece of advice for us, and then he gives us three reasons to apply it.
I. Remember God Your Whole Life
1. This command is harder than it sounds.
2. Solomon is a great example of how hard it is.
3. as we saw last week, and see throughout Ecclesiastes, he had it all!
4. but even when you have it all, it can’t give you what you thought it could.
Il) list of wealthy men, and what they said.
5. so here is an elderly Solomon giving us a positive alternative to pursuing money or work or women.
7. “remember”=”keep in mind” “think of” “recall”
8. so easy to forget about God! Can’t see see Him, hear Him, touch Him.
9. This spiritual relationship seems pale compared to a fast boat or a promotion at work or a bulging 401K.
10. so Solomon encourages us to take an action, to keep God in mind, to make our decisions in consultation with His wisdom.
11. Why? How? What’s at stake?
II. Why Should I Remember God?
1. this is a good question. Can’t I just wait till just before I die?
2. that would be the physical approach
3. I will live my life for pleasure, and then just before I die I will “get right with God.”
4. here is the answer to the “Why?” question.
5. the answer takes up most of this chapter; this poetic description of the effects of aging.
6. it would be funny if it wasn’t so personally relevant to some of us.
7. failing eyesight, growing deafness, stiffness, shakiness, teeth falling out, loss of balance.
Il) read about 59 year old man who made a college football team in South Texas.
8. the sad thing is that we can waste our potential for enjoyment pursuing things that promise real joy but can’t deliver.
9. many think following God means you have to be miserable.
10. actually, God made many things for our enjoyment, but gave us instructions so they would remain enjoyable.
Il) sex is one of those things. God created it for our enjoyment, but gave specifics limits so that it would remain the wonderful gift He intended it to be.
11. When we are young, can accomplish things, don’t waste that strength on things that don’t last.
12. prioritize God!
III. How Do I Remember God?
1. in reading this passage, I ran across a verse that floored me.
2. context in vv9-11, Solomon describing his writing career
3. he is describing a unique set of writings, which he calls “the words of the wise.”
4. describes the power of these words; convicting, solid, upright, true.
5. and then, in a verse that is translated in many ways, v 12
PP) Ecclesiastes 12:12.
6. Hebrew word means “beware, be warned.”
7. and then a word that means “more than these”
8. I like NIV, ESV, RSV, NASB translation.
9. fits the context of a special group of writings that can show us how we are to remember God, what that means in very practical ways.
10. The Bible is a lamp to our feet, a light to our path, the clear and constant voice of God telling us the truth in a world full of lies.
11. Solomon warns us concerning “wisdom” that does not originate from God, “the One Shepherd.”
12. brothers and sisters, make the reading of Scripture, the study of Scripture, the listening to God’s Word a regular part of your life.
13. it will not only remind you to remember God, but show you how to do it.
Il) Swindoll, p51 Transformation of Pitcairn Island
14. Satan will do everything in hispower to keep you out of God’s Word.
15. God has given you His Holy Spirit and His written word.