Remember God and fear Him because this is the key to a Profitable Life

Ecclesiastes 12


Jerry A Collins


® What does it mean to ďRememberĒ God?

Why should I remember God while old age advances?

What is the relationship between remembering God and fearing God?

A couple of weeks ago I noticed that the warehouse I used to unload trucks at is for sale. The business is being moved to a larger warehouse in Indiana for costs saving reasons. Guys who had worked for 20-30 years are no longer employed. During my 8 years there (92-00) unloading trucks I got to know some of these guys very well. I called one of them this week to see how he was doing. He had job applications in and was hoping to land a job from these. One of the things he said was, you know we are not getting any younger. Thatís true. The time I was there took a toll on me physically. The last six months I was there I strained my back one morning unloading a beef truck. I was bent over with stars in my eyes unable to move. Later I pulled a rib out of joint and needed the doctor to jerk it back into place for me. I have stiffness and pain in my legs when I sit a long time or have been very active with them because of the pounding and pushing they took from all of the unloading I did. I have to wear special contacts so that I can see and read without glasses. I see a chiropractor at least twice a year now for a condition in my back. My broken elbow continues to cause pain even though itís been a number of years since it healed. I never had these issues before. Solomon is going to say that this is to be expected in life. Age begins to show itself in time. It reminds us that one day our old age will catch up to us and we will be gone. So what do we do in the meantime? Moan and complain? Become bitter or afraid? He is going to remind us to remember God while our life advances and fear Him enough to live responsibly all of our days. So what does this mean?


First he pleads, remember. This is remembering in such a way that you recollect and reflect an all that God is, has done and act accordingly on this knowledge in your life. Specifically that means:

(1) That God is your Creator. He is the one your spirit will return to when you die vs 7. He is the one who will bring every act to judgment in your life vs 14. It would be foolish to forget that He exists and your accountable to Him. He is the author of life who gives it and takes it away. Evolution is a lie. Atheism is a deception. (2) Remember this while your life is young. Begin obeying and acknowledging God and His Lordship over your life when you are young. Donít let the fantasies of youth preoccupy your affections. Donít let the pleasures of youth compromise your life. You cannot make up those years if you remember to do this later on in life. You only go around once in life so do not squander any of it by forgetting God in your life. (3) Before the miseries related to old age diminish your capacity to serve God. That is the days of old age whose troubles or evil he will figuratively depict in the next verses. Days when physical difficulty, injury, pain and suffering may preoccupy your time and limit the way you may serve the Lord with your life. These years in which they find little pleasure. Donít waste the best years of energy, enthusiasm, opportunity you have he says! When young life seems to stretch endlessly before you. But later in life just living day by day seems to pass speedily by.


Solomon use figures to picture the declining joy and diminishing power of old age. First, life gathers like the weather vs 2. As clouds block out the sun, moon and stars so old age is a time of diminishing lite and increasing gloom that heralds the approach of the darkness of death (11:7-8). I remember this vividly with my grandfather and then my grandmother. All I could think about was the good old days when they were younger and I was living with them. Not this. The joy was gone and the pain only increased. Second, life is like a great house in decline vs 3-4. A watchman now old, once courageous now suddenly afraid vs 3. The mighty of this house now have legs that are bent and feeble to hold them up vs 3. The grinding of teeth cease because there are fewer of them vs 3. Those looking thru windows in this house have dimmed figuratively of failing eyesite vs 3. The doors along the street shut may picture the loss of oneís teeth the word refers to molar teeth vs 4. The elderly loose sleep because every little sound wakes them vs 4. Songs sung during ones youth now impaired by loss of hearing vs 4. Third life is frail like all frail things 5-8. Vs 5 refers to dangers that cause elderly to be fearful of going outside or walking the streets. There are several pictures showing human life in a state of decline.

Almond tree blossoms from pink to white=white hair of old age

Dragging grasshopper=slow moves

Shriveled Caperberry=diminished sexual desire and physical power

Eternal home=the grave

Silver cord removed, golden bowl broken, shattered pitcher, water wheel crushed=original use no longer possible, nothing works rite anymore.

Dust=the body finally crumbles back into the dust it came from

Spirit returns to God=the One who originally gave it

Here life ends and a failure to live it in the knowledge of God will be perilous vs 8. How futile to have lived your life and what a waste to have died not enjoying it or known what it was all about. (Saw Sally Fields documentary and when she won her first Oscar her speech concluded now I know you like me, you like me, you like me. So sad to live for that)


(1) These words were arranged with great care to accurately present the truth 9-10. Not hasty one-liners to amuse.

(2) These words are designed to prod sluggish ones into action and goad us into doing something about what we have read and heard 11-12. They are his words not a skeptics or cynics. Looking at other sources for wisdom will only wear you out with endless, wearisome searching.

(3) Trust and obedience is what everyone owes God, their creator, in view of future judgment 13-14. Profit in this life consists of fearing God and obeying His Word. All of it will be brot under the searching lite when we are confronted by God and held accountable for what we did with the life He gave us. First we should fear God because of duty. We are His servants. Second, fear God because of eternity. we are accountable to Him. Fear God because of opportunity. We can make a difference with our lives. So go for it. Live wisely not foolishly. Live joyfully not hedonistically. Live soberly not ignorantly. Make all of your life count.