Starting Young

Ecclesiastes 11:9-10 – 12:1 – “Young people, it’s wonderful to be young! Enjoy every minute of it. Do everything you want to do; take it all in. But remember that you must give an account to God for everything you do. So refuse to worry, and keep your body healthy. But remember that youth, with a whole life before you, is meaningless. Don’t let the excitement of youth cause you to forget your Creator. Honor him in your youth before you grow old and say, “Life is not pleasant anymore.” NLT

Why should we remember God before old age comes? Why the big rush?

Ecclesiastes 12:2-7: “Remember him before the light of the sun, moon, and stars is dim to your old eyes, and rain clouds continually darken your sky. Remember him before your legs—the guards of your house—start to tremble; and before your shoulders—the strong men—stoop. Remember him before your teeth—your few remaining servants—stop grinding; and before your eyes—the women looking through the windows—see dimly. Remember him before the door to life’s opportunities is closed and the sound of work fades. Now you rise at the first chirping of the birds, but then all their sounds will grow faint. Remember him before you become fearful of falling and worry about danger in the streets; before your hair turns white like an almond tree in bloom, and you drag along without energy like a dying grasshopper, and the caperberry no longer inspires sexual desire. Remember him before you near the grave, your everlasting home, when the mourners will weep at your funeral. Yes, remember your Creator now while you are young, before the silver cord of life snaps and the golden bowl is broken. Don’t wait until the water jar is smashed at the spring and the pulley is broken at the well. For then the dust will return to the earth, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.” NLT

These verses describe the physical effects in the process of aging – eyesight is lost, muscles and bones deteriorate, hearing fades, fear sets in, vitality is lost, our life becomes more and more fragile, our bodies return to the dust.

God wants us to live healthy lifestyles that help us to live longer – “keep your body healthy” (exercise, diet, no substances, etc), and youth is the best time to start forming good habits. However, you can live the healthiest lifestyle in the world, over time your bodies will still grow weaker and they will hurt, your eye sight will grow dimmer, your waistline will grow larger, you will lose your hair or it will turn grey, you won’t be able to see or hear as well, your teeth will start falling out, and you won’t have as much energy. You may develop physical/mental problems, and face debilitating diseases or accidents.

But the main reason for us to remember God when we are young (now) is that someday, each of us will die! Right now, as we speak, we are on our way to our eternal home, and we can do nothing to stop it or even slow it down. We have no guarantee that we will even live to see old age.

Death is no respecter of persons, it is certainly not a respecter of age. Children and teenagers are dying every day. Death comes to us all: Hebrews 9:27 – “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment…” NKJV

O.K., but still why the big rush? Because if we do not respond to God in the days of our youth, we may never respond to God. Most people who deliberately wait to remember God – never remember God. If we wait too long, we may be mentally unable to change. Please do not fall into the trap of thinking you have plenty of time – you don’t know that! Waiting is dangerous!

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14: “That’s the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty. God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad.” NLT

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