Words Of Truth
"That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth..." (Proverbs 22:21).
An Overview Of The Old Testament
Part 211 – Remember Thy Creator Through The Judgment (Ecclesiastes 12:1-14)
1. While the previous chapter concluded that youth is vanity (Ecclesiastes 11:9-10), why should one remember God in his or her youth?
Because later in life one finds less pleasure, more gloom, and those would be times or sorrow rather than times one is likely to remember what God has done: “(1) 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; (2) While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain: (3) In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened, (4) And the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of musick shall be brought low; (5) Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets: (6) Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern” (Ecclesiastes 12:1-6).
Š God is our Creator (Isaiah 40:28) and we ought to never forget our Him (Psalms 20:7).
Š There are dark days in life (Ecclesiastes 11:8).
Š Old age brings a sad reality wherein strength fails (Job 30:2).
Š Concerning days of darkness… Genesis 27:1, Genesis 48:10, I Samuel 3:2, etc.
Š There is a picture here of life coming to a close, the music stopping, etc. (II Samuel 19:32-35).
Š The mourning exists being man goeth to his long home (Job 30:23).
2. Is there a separation of body and spirit at death?
Yes: “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:7).
Š James 2:26.
Š Return to dust (Psalms 104:29 and Ecclesiastes 3:20) because that’s what we’re made from (Genesis 2:7).
3. How much of physical life did Solomon conclude is vanity?
All: “Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity” (Ecclesiastes 12:8).
Š This is a repetitive theme throughout this book (Ecclesiastes 1:12, Ecclesiastes 1:14, Ecclesiastes 2:1, Ecclesiastes 2:11, Ecclesiastes 2:15, Ecclesiastes 2:17, Ecclesiastes 2:19, Ecclesiastes 2:21, Ecclesiastes 2:23, Ecclesiastes 2:26, Ecclesiastes 3:19, Ecclesiastes 4:4, Ecclesiastes 4:7-8, Ecclesiastes 4:16, Ecclesiastes 5:7, Ecclesiastes 5:10, Ecclesiastes 6:2, Ecclesiastes 6:4, Ecclesiastes 6:9, Ecclesiastes 6:11, Ecclesiastes 7:6, Ecclesiastes 7:15, Ecclesiastes 8:10, Ecclesiastes 8:14, Ecclesiastes 9:9, Ecclesiastes 11:8, and Ecclesiastes 11:10).
Š If all you have is physical things, in this life, then it is miserable (I Corinthians 15:19). Yet, as this book will conclude, we have the Judgment of God to look forward to. Thus, we know this life is vain (II Corinthians 4:18).
4. Did the preacher keep wisdom to himself?
No: “And moreover, because the preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yea, he gave good heed, and sought out, and set in order many proverbs” (Ecclesiastes 12:9).
Š Psalms 37:30, Proverbs 10:13, Proverbs 10:21, Proverbs 15:4, Proverbs 25:11-12, and Colossians 4:6.
5. Did the preacher give much thought to what he said?
Yes: “The preacher sought to find out acceptable words: and that which was written was upright, even words of truth” (Ecclesiastes 12:10).
Š Proverbs 15:28, Proverbs 16:21-24, Ephesians 4:15, Titus 2:1, and James 3:1.
6. Are the words of the wise unmoving and unable to be piercing?
No, they drive; urge [goads] and pierce: “The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd” (Ecclesiastes 12:11).
Š Drivers, urges (Jeremiah 23:29 and Acts 20:32)
Š Pierces (Acts 2:37 and Hebrews 4:12).
Š The one shepherd (Hebrews 13:20 and I Peter 5:4; cf. John 1:1-5).
7. Can one study too much?
Yes: “And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh” (Ecclesiastes 12:12).
Š This is not to downplay the need for regular studies and meditation over the word of God (Psalms 1:1-2, Psalms 119:97, Luke 10:38-42, Acts 17:10-11, Colossians 3:16, II Timothy 2:14-18, and II Peter 3:15-18).
Š We do need leisure time too (Mark 6:31-32). Time to enjoy the physical side of life (Ecclesiastes 5:18-20, John 12:1-2, and I Corinthians 7:32-34).
8. What is the conclusion of the whole matter?
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12:13).
Š Fear God (Proverbs 23:17, Philippians 2:12, Hebrews 12:28-29, and I Peter 2:17).
Š Keep His commandments (John 14:15, Hebrews 5:8-9, I John 5:2-3, and Revelation 22:14).
Š The two go hand in hand (Psalms 111:10, Psalms 112:1, and Proverbs 1:7).
9. With life in this world bringing about vanity, what should we be more focused on?
The Judgment of God: “For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:14).
Š Matthew 12:33-37, Matthew 16:27, John 5:28-29, Acts 17:30-31, Romans 2:16, Romans 14:11-12, I Corinthians 4:5, and II Corinthians 5:10.
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