Throughout this exhortation from Solomon in the book of Ecclesiastes, he has repeatedly expressed that our work outside of the presence or will of God is futile; yet we are here with a purpose and we should not delay fulfilling that purpose because one day it will be too late. Are you wasting your time? Are you squandering your Godly purpose by trying to fulfill your will instead of God’s? How much do we let the enemy distract us from the will of God?
Some of you will bemoan the length of today’s passage. I didn’t “cut it up” into smaller pieces because as we’ve witnessed in some earlier portions of Ecclesiastes, some things just go together too well to cut them up. Sometimes we risk missing the bigger picture or even falling into the practice of cut and paste theology because we focus on just one word or one sentence of a grander message. What is the grander message today? Seize the day and stop wasting time!
I challenge you today to be quiet. Put aside your desires and thoughts and just listen to what God is saying through Solomon in these words. The beginning few verses are references to successful business practices of the day that encourage others to invest and use what they have instead of merely storing it up on earth. What’s the point of hoarding stuff if it could all be gone tomorrow? What benefit will it have to anyone if it isn’t used? Solomon continues by describing the life of youth, encouraging us to make good use of every day and “live it as if it is your last.” We should have no regrets and shall not forget what we have learned because our knowledge from experience will give us wisdom for today. Most importantly, let us do it out of reverence for God because He is all that is left for us once we leave this life.
Ecclesiastes 11:1 – 12:8
11 Cast your bread on the surface of the waters, for you will find it after many days. 2 Divide your portion to seven, or even to eight, for you do not know what misfortune may occur on the earth. 3 If the clouds are full, they pour out rain upon the earth; and whether a tree falls toward the south or toward the north, wherever the tree falls, there it lies. 4 He who watches the wind will not sow and he who looks at the clouds will not reap. 5 Just as you do not know the path of the wind and how bones are formed in the womb of the pregnant woman, so you do not know the activity of God who makes all things. 6 Sow your seed in the morning and do not be idle in the evening, for you do not know whether morning or evening sowing will succeed, or whether both of them alike will be good. 7 The light is pleasant, and it is good for the eyes to see the sun. 8 Indeed, if a man should live many years, let him rejoice in them all, and let him remember the days of darkness, for they will be many. Everything that is to come will be futility. 9 Rejoice, young man, during your childhood, and let your heart be pleasant during the days of young manhood. And follow the impulses of your heart and the desires of your eyes. Yet know that God will bring you to judgment for all these things. 10 So, remove grief and anger from your heart and put away pain from your body, because childhood and the prime of life are fleeting.
12 Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near when you will say, “I have no delight in them”; 2 before the sun and the light, the moon and the stars are darkened, and clouds return after the rain; 3 in the day that the watchmen of the house tremble, and mighty men stoop, the grinding ones stand idle because they are few, and those who look through windows grow dim; 4 and the doors on the street are shut as the sound of the grinding mill is low, and one will arise at the sound of the bird, and all the daughters of song will sing softly. 5 Furthermore, men are afraid of a high place and of terrors on the road; the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper drags himself along, and the caperberry is ineffective. For man goes to his eternal home while mourners go about in the street. 6 Remember Him before the silver cord is broken and the golden bowl is crushed, the pitcher by the well is shattered and the wheel at the cistern is crushed; 7 then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it. 8 “Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher, “all is vanity!”