Begin Seeking God in Early Life
"Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, before the difficult days come, and the years draw near when you say, 'I have no pleasure in them'" (Eccl. 12:1). Solomon continues to encourage us to remember God as we enjoy our youth (cf. 11:9,10). It is wise to begin seeking God before old age comes (along with its numerous difficulties) and before one is firmly set in ways of immorality. As a youth, strength and optimism are generally at their peak levels. The aging process, which is slow and irreversible, and the trials of life gradually cause them to diminish (12:2).

In 12:3-6, Solomon shares a poetic description of old age (with the purpose of emphasizing the need to start serving the Creator as a youth, otherwise the time will come when it will be too late):

Admittedly, some of these metaphors are difficult to interpret with certainty and are therefore not presented dogmatically. Nevertheless, the picture painted by Solomon is powerful, and the overall message is clear. Old age brings a variety of struggles. The wise will begin seeking God in early life and continue serving Him until death. Those who are foolish put off the pursuit of righteous living until later in life (e.g., Acts 24:25).

After death, the physical body will decompose; it will return to dust. But, the spirit of man--at the appointed time--will return to its Creator for judgment (12:7).

We will conclude our study of Ecclesiastes on Monday.