Ecclesiastes 12 1. 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"
2. Before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars grow dark, and the clouds return after the rain;
3. When the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men stoop, when the grinders cease because they are few, and those looking through the windows grow dim;
4. When the doors to the street are closed and the sound of grinding fades; When men rise up at the sound of birds, but all their songs grow fault;
5. When men are afraid of heights and of dangers in the streets; When the almond tree blossoms and the grasshopper drags him along and desire no longer is stirred. Then man goes to his eternal home and mourners go about the streets.
6. Remember him – before the silver cord is severed, or the golden bowl is broken; Before the pitcher is shattered at the spring, or the wheel broken at the well,
7. And the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God whoave it.
8. "Meaningless! Meaningless!" Says the Teacher. [Or the leader of the assembly; Also in verses 9 and 10] "Everything is meaningless!"
9 Not only was the Teacher wise, but also he imparted knowledge to the people. He pondered and searched out and set in order many proverbs.
10 The Teacher searched to find just the right words, and what he wrote was upright and true.
11 The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails – given by one Shepherd.
12 Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them. Of making many books there is no end, and much study wears the body.
13 Now all has been heard; Here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commands, for this is the whole duty of man.
14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.
We should remember our sins against our Creator, repent, and seek forgiveness. We should remember our duties, and set about them, looking to him for grace and strength. This should be done early, while the body is strong, and the spirits active.
Then follows a figurative description of old age and its infirmities, which has some difficulties; But the meaning is plain, to show how uncomfortable, generally, the days of old age are.
As the four versa, vs. 2-5, are a figurative description of the infirmations that usually accompanies old age, so vs. 6 notices the circumstances which take place in the hour of death. If sin had not entered into the world, these infirmities would not have been known.
These are the words of one that could speak by dear-bought experience of the vanity of the world, w As he considered the worth of souls, he gave good heed to what he spoke and wrote; Words of truth will always be acceptable words.
The truths of God are as goads to such as are dull, and nails to such as are wandering; Means to establish the heart, that we may never sit loose to our duty, nor be taken from it.
The Shepherd of Israel is the Giver of inspired wisdom. The title is applied in Scripture to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The prophets thoughtfully, what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ in them did signify, when it tested beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.
To write many books was not suited to the shortness of human life, and would be weariness to the writer, and to the reader; And then was much more so to both than it is now. All things would be vanity and vexation, except they led to this conclusion, That to fear God, and keep his commands, is the whole of man.
The fear of God unequaled in it all the affection of the soul towards him, which is produced by the Holy Spirit. There may be terror where there is no love, nay, where there is hatred. But this is different from the gracious fear of God, as the feelings of an affection child. The fear of God, is often put for the whole of true religion in the heart, and unequaled its practical results in the life.
Let us now come to him as a merciful Savior, who will soon come as an almighty Judge, when he will bring to light the things of darkness, and manifest the counsels of all hearts.
Why does God record in his word, that ALL IS VANITY, but to keep us from deceiving ourselves to our ruin? It makes our duty to be our interest. May it be graven in all our hearts. Fear God, and keep his commands, for this should be all that concerns man.