Those of you who are reading this are probably not as young as you once was but can relate to Solomon’s writing and still benefit yourself, your children or grandchildren. Solomon said, “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;” (Eccl. 12:1). God’s children have been spiritually created just as instantaneously as was the natural creation whether this happens at a young age or older age. However, this scripture seems to teach that God creates a new life in the majority of His people during their younger years or maybe even before they were born naturally as was John the Baptist and Jeremiah the prophet. In any case, the admonition is to remember thy Creator before the evil days of advancing age prevent from serving God as vibrantly as in former days.
We can’t remember someone or something that we have not once known. We have known the Creator through an inward knowledge via the spiritual creation and also an external knowledge through the gospel. They weren’t blessed with the gospel in the days of Solomon but God spoke in divers manners to His people then through the prophets. He now speaks to us through His Son. The Son is not here in person but His inspired word is here to speak to us. Solomon is writing these words but it is God that speaks to us so we should take heed.
Timothy was a youthful minister and there might have been those who looked upon him with something less than admiration, simply because of his youth. However, Paul charges Timothy, “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” (I Tim. 4:12). Timothy could be a youthful example to other believers that He loved the Lord and was willing to pattern his life after Christ. An example exemplified in conversation, charity, spirit, faith and purity should be the goal of every believer whether young or old.
Timothy evidently had been taught about remembering His Creator as a youth through his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice. We are told that, “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” (I Tim. 3:15). A child usually doesn’t start learning the scriptures until prodded by someone close to him such as a father, mother, grandfather or grandmother as was Timothy. I am confident the rich “young” ruler had been created anew but he wasn’t willing to remember His Creator by following Him in obedience.
We are cautioned not to be living for self during our youth as though we would live forever and this is a difficult lesson to learn. We never think about growing old when we are young and usually leave any worrying to our parents. But once again Solomon reminds us of the reality of such thinking in Eccl. 11:9, “Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment.” We will ultimately be chastised for such disregard for our Creator.
The sun will not always be shining as there will be some dark days as the years draw nigh and Solomon reminds the young that this is a reality as he writes, “But if a man live many years, and rejoice in them all; yet let him remember the days of darkness; for they shall be many. All that cometh is vanity.” (Eccl. 11:8). There will be many days of darkness even when our Creator is remembered as commanded but the Son is shining behind all those clouds. As we grow older we can realize where we missed the mark growing up but we can sing the song, “When old age is stealing on, and my strength is almost gone, hold to my hand dear Lord I pray.” He can hold our hand in whatever age but He especially holds us tighter when we remember Him as our Creator.
The ideal church is made up of both young and old and as the old pass off the stage of service, the young are ready to step in and carry on the church in a particular location. The old teach and encourage the young that will succeed them. The city of truth is described in such a way by the prophet Zechariah. “Thus saith the LORD of hosts; There shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand for very age. Â And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof.” (Zech. 8:4-5).Â Moses died and Joshua succeeded him to lead Israel into the promised land. Moses was commanded to “encourage” Joshua in his new found responsibility. God promised Joshua that as He was with Moses so He would also be with Him. He would once again, as always, not fail in any promise made to him and his people.
The old can still bear fruit to the glory of God and be that example in old age as they were in their youth. David indicates that is the case: “Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God.Â They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing;” (Psalm 92:13-14). All that are part of the church are necessary, whether old or young. Just as no part of the natural body can say to the other that it has no need of it so it is in the church. Every part of our natural body is needed and every member of the church is needed. Amen!–February 4, 2015–Elder Larry Wise