Image: Rhododendron, North Garden, Virginia, May 2017.
Note: Devotion taken from last Sunday's sermon on Ecclesiastes 12:1-7.
Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draws nigh, when thou shalt say, I have not pleasure in them (Ecclesiastes 12:1).
Solomon begins, “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth….”
The OT scholar John Currid points out that the verb “remember” here does not simply mean “to recall something or to bring something to memory,” but “it actually bears the idea of commitment that results in action” (Ecclesiastes, pp. 149-150). So, it might be rendered, “Serve now thy Creator,” or “Commit yourself now to thy Creator.”
Some men are always thinking about how they might one day trust the Lord or how they might one day serve the Lord, but they never get around to doing it. This is a call for urgency. Don’t wait any longer!
There is something else that stands out here about the language. The noun “Creator” comes from the Hebrew verb to create (see Gen 1:1: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth”). Though it is translated in the singular here, it is actually a plural noun, so it might be literally rendered, “Remember now thy Creators in the days of thy youth.” In this way, the language recalls Genesis 1:26: “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness….” The liberal scholars said this means the ancient Jews were not pure monotheists. They were, at best, henotheists. But Christians said, No. This is the triune God of the Bible. This is the one God in three persons.
The Bible can affirm with no contradiction that creation is an act of all three persons of the Godhead. The Father is the creator (Gen 1:1). The Son is the creator (John 1:3; Col 1:16; Heb 1:1). The Spirit is the creator (Gen 1:2; Job 26:13; Psalm 104:30). Creation is the work of a glorious triune God. Creator is one of his most magnificent titles.
It is not just that God made the first man from the dust of the earth and breathed the breath of life into him, so that he became a living soul (Gen 2:7) or that he made the first woman from man’s rib (Gen 2:22), but that he also creates every man and every woman who has ever lived: “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well” (Psalm 139:14).
Will you remember your Creator while you are in the strength of your youth, in the prime of your life? Some are always putting off such a commitment. Some think: Youth is for sowing wild oats; religion is for old folks. Bridges cites an “ungodly adage” heard in his day: “Youth for pleasure—age for business—old age for religion,” which he interprets as, “Let the devil have the prime, and God the dregs” (Ecclesiastes, p. 285). Some simply procrastinate, putting off to tomorrow what should be done today.
Bridges, however, observes: “Every day is lost that is not spent for him. Let not the deceiver cheat us out of all time, by cheating us of the present time” (p. 287).
Will we remember now our Creator while we have the strength and vigor to do so?
Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle
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