The Big Reveal on the Meaning of Life

Ecclesiastes 12

Thursday, July 21, 2022

After plodding through Ecclesiastes 1 and 3 over the last two day’s devotions, we are finally at Ecclesiastes 12, where Solomon has his reveal about the meaning of life.  Verse 1 starts out the chapter with, “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.”  

The next 7 verses highlight why the elderly may not find pleasure in their old age – because they experience things like fading eyesight, losing hearing, developing tremors, stooping because of osteoporosis, losing teeth, unable to sleep – and then die.

So what does it mean to “remember your Creator?”  Is this like “remember to take out the trash?”  No.  And it entails a lot more than just thinking about Him once in a while. When you’re tempted to enjoy the pleasures of sin, remember your Creator.  When you’re tempted to live your life in rebellion against God, remember your Creator.  When your peers are doing something you know is wrong and you’re tempted to join in, remember your Creator.  It means putting God at the forefront of your thoughts, dedicating your life to Him, and living for Him.

I think there are several practical reasons to start serving the Lord while you are young.   Here is a partial list:

  • Life in a close relationship with God is satisfying and fulfilling, so the earlier you start that relationship with Him, the longer you’ll experience meaning in your life.
  • By accepting God while you are young, you will spare yourself a lot of pain and problems that you would experience in a life of rebellion against God.
  • You may want to live it up while you are young and plan on a “death bed confession” (giving your life to the Lord just before you die).  But we never know when we may die.  Accidents happen.  And you don’t want to suffer the eternal consequences of not devoting your life to the Lord.
  • You may get dementia as you age, and won’t be able to make a decision for the Lord late in life.
  • As people age, they get more set in their ways and find it more difficult to change.

I think Solomon is giving good advice, “remember your Creator in the days of your youth.”  

At the end of Ecclesiastes 12, we finally come to Solomon’s conclusion when seeking the meaning of life.  Ecclesiastes 12: 13-14 read, “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter:  Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.  For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.”

Fear includes a lot more than being scared of God.  It includes being in awe of Him.  Giving Him reverence.  Giving him glory.  Giving Him your life (living for Him).

To paraphrase Solomon, the bottom line is this:  

You can live your life your own way, and experience a life that is meaningless and unfulfilling, then die.  Or you can live your life God’s way, and experience a life that is meaningful and fulfilling, and then die.

Either way, you will die.  And when Jesus returns, you will face judgment.  If you have lived your life your own way, you will face condemnation and the second death.  If you have lived your life for God, you will receive commendation and will enjoy eternal life.

The only rational choice is to “fear God and keep his commandments.”

You don’t have to be rational.  But you do have to choose.  Choose wisely.

–Steve Mattison

Application Questions

  1. Look again at the list of reasons to start serving the Lord while you are young. Is there anything else you would add to it?
  2. If you have started serving the Lord, when did you start? Why was that a great time to do it? If you haven’t yet, what are you waiting for?

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