By Pastor Orly Ibarbia
"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."
- Ecclesiastes 12:1
The warning given to young men here was that if one lives a care free life, and walks after all the lusts of the heart and the sight of the eyes, he will have to give an account for this, for one is to be judged for everything done in life whether it be good or bad. In view of this, we are advised to remove the things that will cause eventual sorrow of heart, and to put away evil from the flesh so that there will be no pain and remorse in the time to come (Ecclesiastes 11:9-10). In other words, Solomon's advice was: Do not give your life over to childhood and youthful sins for they are all vanity; remember your creator in the days of youth wisely before the evil days of old age come and the years in which you will have no pleasure in living (Ecclesiastes 12:1).
The evil days and years are the times of old age, affliction and death (Ecclesiastes 12:7). They were called evil because of being the last days of testing on earth, a time in which inventory must be taken; life's values reconsidered, and final preparation made for eternity to come. This period is also called years in which man will find no pleasure. How many days or years they are, in particular, is not known in any case.
The wise man will live with eternity's value in view and keep himself prepared in all that he says and does. Eternity is a long time and if one does not prepare himself to spend it with God and all the redeemed in heaven, he will spend it with Satan and the damned in hell. All men will be duly judged for all things done in the body whether good or bad (2 Corinthians 5:9-10, Revelation 20:11-15).
Solomon, the preacher, a man possessed with brilliant powers of wisdom and observation had to conclude some things are beyond understanding (Ecclesiastes 11:5). Failing in his attempt to “figure out” life, he fell back on simple advice: fear God and obey Him, no matter how things seem to you. In essence, he concluded a life of faith. For him, an old man, much of life, had already passed; in eloquent poetry, he described the decay that was already at work in his body (Ecclesiastes 12:1-7). Then he stressed, “Remember thy Creator in the days of your youth.”