We’ve come to the end of the series on Ecclesiastes. You’ll see as we look at the final chapter, Solomon keeps his same tone all the way through the book. In verse 8 he says again, “Absolute futility.” This book is written this way NOT for depression but for direction, to make us stop and think about the way we are living. Today we’ll keep with his same tone and look at three things, that if we do them, will help us grow old and grumpy.
“So remember your Creator in the days of your youth…” (v. 1). Solomon says remember God while you are young because the biological clock is ticking. In verses 3-6 he gives us a very graphic poetic description of old age. It reads like a dilapidated house! Solomon uses many metaphors to talk about the aging process. The older you get the more the body breaks down. You lose vigor and vitality. Trembling limbs, poor vision, hearing loss, nervousness, fear of heights, loss of appetite, and then death. Aren’t you glad you’re reading this blog today! Keep in mind though, “old” is not necessarily connected to chronological age. Some people are an old soul. Some seniors are young at heart. Stop dreading aging! It beats than the alternative! Art Linkletter said, “It is better to be over the hill than under it!”
In verses 9-12, Solomon talks about learning and teaching. No matter how old you are you never too old to learn. Be a lifelong learner. We can all become wiser. Being old and being wise are not synonymous. Leaders are readers. Read lots of books but make sure you read God’s word for wisdom. The Bible prods us to do right and nails us when we do wrong. Thank God for the people he has used in your life, teachers, mentors, coaches, but ultimately we have one Shepherd. There is a warning against what 2 Timothy 3, calls “always learning,” but “never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” The greatest book you need to read is the Bible. “The Bible that is falling apart usually belongs to someone who is not.” Other books can give you information but only the Bible can give you transformation.
“When all has been heard, the conclusion of the matter is this: fear God and keep his commands, because this is for all humanity. For God will bring every act to judgment, including every hidden thing, whether good or evil” (v. 13-14). Conclusion is not just the end of the book. One day we are all going to do everything for the last time. You are going to get out of bed, shower, read your Bible, eat your last meal, and work, drive, kiss, hug, preach for the very last time. It is appointed unto man once to die and then the judgment (Heb. 9:27). There are two great judgments. The Great White Throne Judgement for unbelievers (Rev. 20:11-15) and the Judgement Seat of Christ for believers (Rom. 14:10, 2 Cor. 5:10). The purpose of the Judgement Seat of Christ is not to determine whether you get to go to heaven. Your eternal destiny is determined before you leave this earth. Jesus said, “He who believes has life. He who does not believe is condemned.” The purpose is to give an account for our lives. The things done for Christ will last. The things not done for Christ will burn up. Praise God, that because of Jesus, at the Judgment Seat of Christ every shameful thing we have ever done will be burned up never to be brought up again. God will wipe the tears from our eyes and we will be like Him. He will have finished what He started. He will present us blameless before the Father. Hallelujah! You don’t have to fear death if you are in Christ. Jesus said in John 11:25, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me, even if he dies, will live.”
First Corinthians 15:8 says, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” Vanity, Vanity. Paul agreed with Solomon. He says in 1 Corinthians 15:17and 19, “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins… If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.” There is more to this life than this life. When you see a gravestone in a cemetery, it will show the year the person was born, the year they died, with a dash in between. Make sure the dash counts. Ecclesiastes ends where Proverbs begins. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. You make the dash count, you don’t grow old and grumpy, when you view this life in light of eternity.