Verse 1 – 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”:
When we are young, we are less aware of one day being accountable for our actions. But as we get older when we look back, we will either see a life that we enjoyed and lived to the fullest, always looking forward to an eternity with Christ or, some when they look back and feel it was all for nothing because they lived only for themselves.
Verse 2 – While the sun and the light, the moon and the stars, are not darkened, and the clouds do not return after the rain;
Verse 3 – In the day when the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men bow down; when the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look through the windows grow dim;
Verse 4 – When the doors are shut in the streets, and the sound of grinding is low; when one rises up at the sound of a bird, and all the daughters of music are brought low;
Verse 5 – Also when they are afraid of height, and of terrors in the way; when the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper is a burden, and desire fails. For man goes to his eternal home, and the mourners go about the streets.
Sometimes when reading these verse that Solomon wrote, I think, “That’s way too deep for me. What did he just say?” But, if you go back and read these verses again, you will see he is talking about growing old and feeble; fear of falling down; locking the house up in fear of someone breaking in, and then a funeral at the end.
Verse 6 – Remember your Creator before the silver cord is loosed, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher shattered at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the well.
Verse 7 – Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.
Verse 8 – “Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher, “All is vanity.” “Fear God and keep His commandments.”
Stripped of God’s Spirit, our bodies return to the dust. Stripped of God’s purpose, our work is in vain, knowing all life is wasted unless God is in it, we seek after Him first.
Verse 9 – And moreover, because the Preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yes, he pondered and sought out and set in order many proverbs.
Verse 10 – The Preacher sought to find acceptable words; and what was written was upright – words of truth.
Verse 11 – The words of the wise are like goads, and the words of scholars are like well-driven nails, given by one Shepherd.
A goad was a sharp metal tip attached to a handle used to keep oxen or cattle moving. Like a goad, a wise word of truth may not always be pleasant to hear, but it will keep us moving forward towards the things of God.
Verse 12 – And further, my son, be admonished by these. Of making books there is no end, and much study is wearisome to the flesh.
There’s nothing wrong with reading and studying books on philosophies, but to gain true wisdom and truth, there is no better book written than the Bible, the true Word of God.
Verse 13 – Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.
Verse 14 – For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether it is good or whether it is evil.
Whether good or evil done in this life, all will give an account one day. When God says, “He looks on the heart”, He sees every motive and attitude behind everything we do. This book of Ecclesiastes shows us, yes, we should enjoy life, but this does not exempt us from obeying God. Our lives should have purpose and meaning, so others will see whom you follow.