Remember Your Creator – October 6, 2023

Many of us enjoy road trips and agree that they can be fun. But all road trips must come to an end. The book of Ecclesiastes is like a road trip. We’ve studied Solomon’s quest for the meaning of life and now we’ve reached the end of the road. This book has been building to the conclusion. We’ve been challenged to submit our lives to God because life is uncertain, our wisdom is uncertain, time is uncertain, and death is certain. Chapter eleven ended with a call to put off the vanity of this world because God is the final Judge and true joy is only found in Him.

In the final chapter, Solomon summarizes the argument of his whole book. The challenge is the same- we need to submit our lives to God. Ecclesiastes 12:1 says, “Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth.” In verses 1-8, Solomon challenges us to not waste our lives on the vanity of this world. Rather we should use our time and energy to serve our Creator. Why is this important? Solomon knew that everybody faces the temptations to abandon God and pursue the fun and pleasure of this world. But God knows you better than you know yourself. In this passage, we’re given two final reasons why we should submit our lives to God:

First, submit your life to God because death is coming (Eccl. 12:1-7). Solomon tells us to remember our Creator while we’re young. That word “remember” calls us to honor, obey, and serve God. This is necessary because He is our Creator. Our lives belong to Him because He made us. We steal from God when we live for our own glory. So don’t try to rob God. Serve your Creator. 

Then Solomon gives us the first reason in verses 1-2. He warns us that death is coming to all of us. Solomon describes the process of dying. He calls it the “evil days” that have “no pleasure.” The process of dying is painful and ugly. And the reality is, all of us are dying! Solomon describes this dreadful process with the analogy of dimming of light. In our youth we’re full of energy and ambition, but the end of our lives are dark and slow. In verses 3-5, he describes the decay of our bodies. As we age, strength is diminished, life is slowed, and the end draws near. Your arms and hands grow weak. Your legs become feeble and unsteady. Your teeth fall out and your eyesight becomes dim. Sleep is no longer sweet because of all your aches and pains. The hearing fades. The energy diminishes. The hair turns white and falls out. Movement becomes slow and painful. And your desires fail. All this happens because death is coming.

Solomon says in verse 5 that “man is going to his eternal home.” We’re all on the road to death. Verse 6 shows us that death is irreversible. Like a bowl that is shattered to pieces or a cord that is cut, the damage of death is irreversible. Death is also inevitable. In verse 7, Solomon describes what happens when we die. Our bodies return to the dust. This alludes to Genesis 3:19 – “By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” The curse of sin brought death. Physical death is separation of the body and soul. The body goes into the grave and the soul returns to God. This reminds us that after death we will face the Judge. Remember Ecclesiastes 3:17 – “God will judge the righteous and the wicked.” The wicked will face God’s eternal wrath and the righteous will inherit eternal life. So we should submit our lives to God because death is coming.

Second, submit your life to God because this world is vanity (Eccl. 12:8). Solomon started the book with this statement- “Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher; all is vanity.” Now he concludes his quest with the same statement. He has tried everything this world has to offer- money, success, knowledge, power, sex, fame, fun, etc. His conclusion to it all: this world is vanity. It’s passing away. All of us are passing away. So meaning and purpose can never be found in this world. The temptations of this world look fun and feel good, but they will never satisfy your soul or give you meaning, because it’s all vanity. 

Do you want a joyful and good life? Submit to God. Do you want a life of purpose and significance? Submit to God. Do you want hope for eternal life? Submit to God. Your life belongs to the Creator. This world offers nothing that will last or satisfy your soul. So don’t waste your life. Life is short, death is inevitable, this world is vanity, and God will judge you. So submit your life to your Creator. The meaning of life is only found in God. Next week we finally reach the conclusion and answer the question- what is the meaning of life?