“Do not let the excitement of being young cause you to forget about your Creator. Honor Him in your youth before the evil years come-when you’ll no longer enjoy living.” ~Ecclesiastes 12:1
The Wisest of All Men
He is credited in the Bible as being the wisest of all men. His name was Solomon, which, in the Hebrew, means “peaceable.” He was also called Jedidiah, meaning “beloved of Jehovah.” Solomon was a son of King David by Bathsheba (2 Sam 12:24; 1 Chron 3:5). He succeeded his father to the throne and ruled Israel from c. 965-926 BC.
Because of his fame for wisdom, people from all over the world came to visit with Solomon. According to legend, one day, the Queen of Sheba (modern Yeman) who was in the palace as a royal guest, brought him some artificial flowers mixed with real ones. She asked Solomon to tell her by observation, which flowers were real, and which were not. As the story goes Solomon ordered that the palace windows be opened. It was not long before a bee began to swarm over the flowers and the Wisdom of Solomon was confirmed.
A Message for Young People
In Scripture, Solomon has something to say to young people. He has a particular message he is anxious for them to hear and heed. Listen carefully as Solomon says, “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth.” The force of these words is that of an imperative, or a command. It is a very serious subject Solomon is dealing with therefore remember. Such an exhortation is needed because it is possible to forget God.
It is possible to forget God academically. In the state of Kansas, a court battle raged for several years over whether or not Creationism or Evolution is to be taught in the public schools. Creationism postulates that the design and order of the universe demands an intelligent Creator. Creationism argues that the known facts of science do conform to the words of Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”
In contrast Evolution postulates that Time + Space + Chance = Everything. Evolution argues for all of life being a cosmic chance, a happy accident of great mystery whereby matter produced everything.
Before 1925, Creationism was taught in every American school system. Today, Creationism is declared to be unscientific, even though evolution itself is rooted in a blind faith that matter is eternal, and has innate power to create complex order and design. It is possible to forget God academically.
It is possible to forget God socially. In recent years many people have been trying to articulate what is wrong with our society. An unknown person has done it very well with these words.
Let’s see if we can figure out what has gone wrong. I think it started when Madeline Murray O’Hare (she was murdered, her body was found recently) complained she didn’t want any prayer in our schools, and we said OK.
Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school… the Bible that says
thou shalt not kill,
thou shalt not steal,
and love your neighbor as yourself.
And we said, OK.
Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn’t spank our children when they misbehave because their little personalities would be warped, and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spocks son committed suicide) And we said, an expert should know what he’s talking about so we said OK, we won’t spank them anymore.
Then someone said teachers and principals better not discipline our children when they misbehave. And the school administrators said no faculty member in this school better touch a student when they misbehave because we don’t want any bad publicity, and we surely don’t want to be sued. (There’s a big difference between disciplining and touching, beating, smacking, humiliating, kicking, etc.) And we accepted their reasoning.
Then someone said, let’s let our daughters have abortions if they want, and they won’t even have to tell their parents. And we said, that’s a grand idea.
Then some wise school board member said, since boys will be boys and they’re going to do it anyway, let’s give our sons all the condoms they want, so they can have all the fun they desire, and we won’t have to tell their parents they got them at school. And we said, that’s another great idea.
Then some of our top elected officials said it doesn’t matter what we do in private as long as we do our jobs. And agreeing with them, we said it doesn’t matter to me what anyone, including the President, does in private as long as I have a job and the economy is good.
And then someone said let’s print magazines with pictures of nude women, and call it wholesome, down-to-earth appreciation for the beauty of the female body. And we said we have no problem with that.
And someone else took that appreciation a step further and published pictures of nude children, and then stepped further still by making them available on the Internet. And we said they’re entitled to their free speech.
And the entertainment industry said, let’s make TV shows and movies that promote profanity, violence, and illicit sex. And let’s record music that encourages rape, drugs, murder, suicide, and satanic themes. And we said it’s just entertainment, it has no adverse effect, and nobody takes it seriously anyway, so go right ahead.
Now we’re asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don’t know right from wrong, and why it doesn’t bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, their teachers, and themselves.
Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out.
I think it has a great deal to do with, “We reap what we sow.”
It is possible to forget God socially.
Because God is dismissed from normal academics, and from society at large in prinicple it is easy to forget God personally. If there are professing atheists, so there are practical atheists. Practical atheism is living a life without God. The true atheist foolishly says in the heart, “There is no God.” The practical atheist has no consciousness of God on a daily basis.
The story is told of a young person who woke up and prepared to go to Sunday school and Church. But mom and dad had a different idea. They wanted to spend the Lord’s Day at the Lake. “We can worship God anywhere,” the parents blithely told their child. And the young person quietly asked,
“But mom, will we?”
“Dad, will we?”
The practical atheists say,
“I am the captain of my soul,
I am the master of my fate.”
It is possible to forget God practically.
Therefore, remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth. But what is to be remembered about the Creator? When your heart thinks of God what should it remember?
First, remember that God does exist and there is no other. The God who exists is the God of revelation, not the God of imagination. The God who exists has revealed Himself through nature. Psalms 19:1 “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.” Moreover, the God who exists has been pleased to dwell among men. John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. In Christ is all the fullness of the Godhead expressed bodily (Col. 2:9).
Second, remember that God knows you intimately. In theological terms this knowledge of God is called “omniscience”. In poetical language it is called, “wonderful.” That is what the Psalmist of Israel said when he meditated on this attribute of God. Psalm 139:1-6 LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me. 2 Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. 3 Thou compassest [consider] my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. 4 For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether. 5 Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.
Nothing you will ever say or do shall surprise or shock God. He knows you too well. He know what you will say before you say it, He knows what you will do before the deed is done, and in that knowledge He has your best interest in His heart.
Third, remember that God is near you. Again, in theological terms this attribute of God is called “omnipresent”. The Psalmist asked Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” 12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. 13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful; I know that full well” (Psalm 139:7-14 NIV).
Because all of your life will be lived in the presence of God, be conscience of that presence. It will influence every word, and thought, and deed. Walk in the light, walk in the sphere of truth, live in the sight of the Lord and you will have no regrets later on.
Fourth, remember the love of God. While many people do not feel loved everyone can know the love of God. In 1917 in Pasadena, California Frederick M. Lehman wrote about the love of God with these words.
The love of God is greater far than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star, and reaches to the lowest hell;
The guilty pair, bowed down with care, God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled and pardoned from his sin.
O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints’ and angels’ song.
When years of time shall pass away, and earthly thrones and kingdoms fall,
When men, who here refuse to pray, on rocks and hills and mountains call,
God’s love so sure, shall still endure, all measureless and strong;
Redeeming grace to Adam’s race—the saints’ and angels’ song.
Could we with ink the ocean fill,
and were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
and every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above,
would drain the ocean dry.
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
though stretched from sky to sky.
Remember the love of God.
Finally, remember that God has a will for your life. Sometimes, young people wonder what they should do by way of a career choice. If you are struggling with that decision let me assure you, there is a purpose for your existence. God has a plan for your life. If you want to know God’s will then you must begin to find it by presenting yourself to Him in an act of dedication.
The apostle Paul wrote, Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Here then are specific things to remember about the Creator.
Remember God exists and there is no other.
Remember God knows you intimately.
Remember God is near you.
Remember the love of God.
Remember God has a plan for your life.
Remember these truths now, in the days of your youth for they will protect you from a life of regrets. Give God the best years of your life. And when you get to be older, when the body grows weaker—and it will—then you can reflect on the lessons of life, especially a life well lived in the presence of God.
A lady by the name of Kay Cunningham has thought about the life she has lived. She has written down some things she has learned.
I have learned that you cannot make someone love you. All you can do is be someone who can be loved. The rest is up to them.
I have learned that it takes years to build up trust, and only seconds to destroy it.
I have learned that it’s not what you have in your life but who you have in your life that counts [Have God in your life].
I have learned that you can get by on charm for about fifteen minutes. After that, you’d better know something.
I have learned that it’s not what happens to people that’s important. It’s what they do about it.
I have learned that it’s taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.
I have learned that it’s a lot easier to react than it is to think.
I have learned that you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.
I have learned that you can keep going long after you think you can’t.
I have learned that we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.
I have learned that either you control your attitude or it controls you.
I have learned that heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.
I have learned that learning to forgive takes practice.
I have learned that sometimes when I’m angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn’t give me the right to be cruel.
I have learned that just because someone doesn’t love you the way you want them to doesn’t mean they do not love you with all they have.
I have learned that maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you’ve had, and what you’ve learned from them, and less to do with how many birthdays you’ve celebrated.
I have learned that you shouldn’t be so eager to find out a secret. It could change your life forever.
I have learned that two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.
I have learned that no matter the consequences, those who are honest with themselves get farther in life.
I have learned that writing, as well as talking, can ease emotional pains.
I have learned that credential on the wall do not make you a decent human being.
And now, with Solomon, I exhort you, Remember thy Creator, in the days of thy youth.