WHAT'S THE BOTTOM LINE?

Ecclesiastes 11:7-12:4 August 20 2006

Solomon advised people to enjoy every minute if
being young. Young people should live their lives
within the boundaries of God’s revealed will
because they will one day give an account to God
for everything they have done.
Regardless of our age, we should continuously seek
to learn and to apply the truths of God’s Word.
Solomon concluded Ecclesiastes with sober advice –
“fear god and keep His commands” and live each
day with the knowledge that God “will bring every
act to judgment.”

1. Recognize God-Given Boundaries (Eccl. 11:9-10)

Eccl. 11:9 Rejoice, young man, while you are young, and
let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Follow
the inclination of your heart and the desire of your eyes,
but know that for all these things God will bring you into
judgment. 11:10 Banish anxiety from your mind, and put
away pain from your body; for youth and the dawn of life
are vanity.

Solomon also advised the young to put away pain
from their bodies. This is an admonishment to avoid
the destructive sins of the flesh and , instead , to
cultivate healthy and holy habits. Those who embrace
destructive habits in their youth lay a foundation for
problems in their older years. We should instead live
each day to the fullest , accepting both the challenges
and opportunities each day brings , because youth
and the prime of life are fleeting .

2. Remember God Every Day (Eccl. 12:1-5)

Eccl. 12:1 Remember your creator in the days of your
youth, before the days of trouble come, and the years
draw near when you will say, “I have no pleasure in them”;
12:2 before the sun and the light and the moon and the
stars are darkened and the clouds return with the rain; 12:3
in the day when the guards of the house tremble, and the
strong men are bent, and the women who grind cease working
because they are few, and those who look through the
windows see dimly; 12:4 when the doors on the street are
shut, and the sound of the grinding is low, and one rises up
at the sound of a bird, and all the daughters of song are
brought low; 12:5 when one is afraid of heights, and terrors
are in the road; the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper
drags itself along and desire fails; because all must go to
their eternal home, and the mourners will go about the
streets;

Solomon listed four characteristics of aging with
interesting descriptions. First , the phrase guardians
of the house most likely refers to hands that tremble
in old age. Second, the strong men may refer to the
major muscle groups of the legs and back that begin
to weaken with age and cause one to stoop rather than
to stand up straight . Third, the grinders are teeth that
cease to chew food because they are few. Fourth, the
ones who see dimly as they watch through the
windows are the eyes.

3. Revere and Obey God (Eccl. 12:13-14)

Eccl. 12:13 The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear
God, and keep his commandments; for that is the whole duty
of everyone. 12:14 For God will bring every deed into
judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.

Solomon search for meaning in life under the sun.
Guided by human wisdom , Solomon explored a variety
of avenues that looked promising but proved
disappointing . Every earthly experience and material
possession left Solomon empty. After his exhaustive
search for meaning, Solomon announced the conclusion
of the matter. Life’s ultimate meaning cannot be found
by human wisdoms; only God can give meaning to life.

Summary:
Therefore , we should live each day revering and
obeying God and delighting in personal fellowship with
Him, for those are the purposes for which He created us.
By revering and obeying God and enjoying daily fellowship
with Him, we advance His redemptive purposes and , in the
process, experience life’s greatest sense of fulfillment.