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.
– Ecc 12:1
“…In the days of thy youth…”
We began earlier to consider the admonition of King Solomon to remember our Creator. That admonition, as we discover, was primarily addressed to young people. Though men of all ages must seek God, it is most important for young people, who have unique features that make it easier for them to seek God, and who have ample time to reap the fruits of their actions. It is almost as if a young man is sitting across the room from the now aged king as he pens those words, “…in the days of thy youth…”
He will go on to describe the various features of old age that make it difficult to seek God and the apathy that becomes the attitude of older people towards the things they once passionately pursued. But first of all, let us consider those golden words – “in the days of thy youth.” Scripture states that “the glory of young men is their strength…” (Prov. 20:29). Strength, like time, is a currency for young people, which must be converted into whatever they wish to possess in large quantities in their old age. Strength may be converted into money (through labour), wisdom (through study), skill (through practice), favour (through service), and so on. Whatever a young person invests their time and strength in will yield them results in years to come. Since all men have equal amount of time each day, the difference between the young and the old is the degree to which they can exert themselves within a period of time. A young man can physically get more done in the same space of time than an older man. He is easier to get excited, stimulated and involved in any activity at all. But the question is, “Into what will He invest this strength?”
The admonition of King Solomon becomes even more valuable because he does not specify what a young man should do with his strength, but what he should have in his mind: his God. There are a variety of activities that can be a response to having God in mind, but what is most important is that all the activities are done out of an attitude of honour for God. Passion is also a major attribute of most young people, which must be channelled into serving God in the days of one’s youth. The reward of seeking God in one’s youth is many-sided. It includes long life, divine protection, personal fulfilment and many uncountable blessings.
Most importantly, those who serve God in their youth will be bold to stand in judgment before God in days to come, and will not be abandoned in their old age by the God of their youth. When, in time to come, they realise the futility of human lives, they will be glad they gave the best years of their lives to God. This is the lesson Solomon strives to pass across to young people – a lesson he learnt the hard way.
Featured image via.