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; – Eccl. 12:1 KJV
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The book of Ecclesiastes which bible historians have ascribed to King Solomon remains a reference book when words of wisdom are desired. The kind of words that should let anyone enjoy peace not only in this turbulent world of sin but also in the life after life are contained in this book, albeit not exclusively. All such a person need do is to read and live in the many advises contained in the book and the likelihood of failure in life will be very slim if not completely eliminated.
The foundation scripture for today’s Devotional is the first verse of the twelfth chapter of the book and has as its main thrust as the need for the Christian to remember the Lord. It implies that people in general have the tendency to, or in actual fact, forget the Lord, just as sometimes the Lord does forget people. Several scriptures make use of the phrase, “and the Lord remembered”, in reference to people who are experiencing very difficult times because the Lord seemed to have forgotten them. To forget the Lord or anyone for that matter is to not factor such a being into consideration again. To stop thinking about the person and his/her feelings or opinion about any situation. Being aware of the tendency for human beings to forget the Lord, the scripture for today’s Devotional advises all not to slip into that mode. The implication is very similar to the Lord forgetting someone except that there is the additional burden of being an ingrate and/or not being pro-active. The former being the case when forgetting is because there is nothing to worry about as the Lord would have brought peace from all directions (Judges 8:34; 2Sam. 7:1; 11:1) whilst the latter is the case when the individual is not wise enough to anticipate future challenges that will require His intervention – Lk. 12:16-21.
The one who forgets the Lord no longer sees God in his/her daily activities. Such does not see the relevance of the Lord in terms of desired successes in life or cannot see the role the Lord played in current or past successes as such
achievements are either taken for granted or at best seen as the product of the effort of the person. To forget the Lord is to believe that He has no role to play in future plans and this is very common occurrence with people who seem to have little or no challenge in day-to-day achievements. Such erroneously believe that the present achievement is the peak of achievements and all that needs to be done in life and future achievements, if there is any, will be made for as long as they remain smart, intelligent or possess necessary human credentials required for success, not realising that it is the Lord that gives ability to make success – Deut. 8:18. To such a group of people, time spent worshipping the Lord is a complete waste as such times could have been better spent doing other things which to them will be more productive and profitable. This reaction is not their attempt to take the advice of the same King Solomon that there is time for everything under the sun else they would have realised that there is indeed the need to allocate time for the worship of the Almighty God – Eccl. 3:1-8. To this group of people, human skill, strength and efforts are all that are required for success in life. They behave like the foolish rich man, earlier referenced, who after a bountiful harvest stored everything in a barn and told himself that all that remain for him in life was to eat, drink and be merry for the rest of life. The Bible says that same night, he lost his life – Lk. 12:16-21. Such people may not die physically but may be exposing themselves to the possibility of living a life of a living dead.
King Solomon in today’s scripture says that the wise person should remember the Lord
- In the days of youth. The days of youth are the days when foundations and habits are being formed. The direction of life of anyone rests on what is done at this stage of life and it is important that the right foundation is set. No other foundation is more assuring than that laid on the Almighty who remains the solid rock on which successful life can be built – Matt. 7:24-27.
- Before the evil days arrive. It is foolishness for anyone to live believing that an entire lifetime will be spent without days which can beat be described as evil. These days are marked not only by financial challenges but social, family, health and other challenges that takes away joy from the individual. There is sudden appearance of a mountain too high to climb that either stalls progress or retard such life. Everything suddenly becomes stagnant and there seems to be no solution. That is when the whole world seem to come to a halt and the need to have a supernatural intervention becomes apparent. Not preparing for this stage of life may make that stage the end of everything that one has ever or will ever be. The wise person will anticipate this period and prepare adequately for it.
- Before the old age when there will be no longer interest in the pleasures of life. Old age here may not necessarily refer to years spent on earth but to stages in life when it will be tool late to make any meaningful intervention in a situation to prevent things getting completely out of hand. Timely intervention is sometimes the result of adequate anticipation and preparation. The one who has not anticipated and prepared for difficult times will in such situations be like an old person who has lost all capabilities to make positive moves. Hands and legs will be visible but useless. Eyes will see but nothing can be done to at least mitigate the situation. Such will not be different from an aged person, existing but not living.
Only the wise will take to the advise of arguably the wisest person that ever and will ever live in this realm. Like the popular saying goes, “failing to plan is planning to fail”. Life in general is about mountains and valleys. No matter how long one spends on the mountain, there will always be moments in the valley. At those times, human abilities alone may not be sufficient to overcome and get out of those times. These valley periods come in various forms but the properly preparing for them ensures success in navigating them. Do not wait until those times before making preparation so as to be victorious in such situations and do not be deceived into thinking that it happens to only some class of people to which you do not belong. That is the way of every man and only the wise will understand that.
Be wise! Prepare well for those times so that you will not spend too long a time in the valley of life or worse still get buried there in. May God grant us all the wisdom to remember Him at all times especially when we are on the mountains of life in Jesus name. Amen.