In our study of Ecclesiastes chapter twelve, we look at the difference between growing old with faith in God and growing old without Jesus. At the end of chapter 11, we looked at the fact that our youth does not last forever. Now, we will look at the progression to what is commonly called the golden years. When most of us think of these "retirement years" we think of good times where we do what we want to do instead of going to work every day just to survive. Visions of grandchildren and permanent vacations come to mind but, as we shall see, without God they are far different.
"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' -" NIV translation
The Hebrew word for "remember" is "zakhor" and it roughly means to call something to mind or to think on something. Solomon begins with this in the hope that we will accept Jesus Christ when we are young.
He goes on to give us the reason to do so now instead of waiting to have a "deathbed conversion". He describes the last days of our lives on this earth (our golden years) as days of trouble instead of pleasurable years (not so golden years).
"before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars grow dark, and the clouds return after the rain;" NIV translation
Solomon reminds us that, at the end of these days on earth, there is physical death waiting for us all. He also alludes to the fact that the final days before that death happens are usually not very productive (without sun or rain to make things grow). Today, there are many people who give a fortune for a few more days, months, or years on this earth. An entire industry (gerontological medicine) rakes in billions of dollars each year and employs thousands of people to do this. We might ask why older folks would want to do this and the simple fact is that they either do not know Jesus or have lost sight of His promises. With Jesus, the physical death of this body leads to a much better life with a brand new body. Without Jesus, death is a door to judgment by our Creator. If you are getting older and facing that prospect, we invite you to accept Jesus now!