Ecclesiastes 12:1 reads, “Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, Before the difficult days come, and the years draw near when you say, ‘I have no pleasure in them’” (NKJV). We have in this verse a strong appeal made to young people to give reverence to God, their Creator, before old age sets in with all of its problems, which results in robbing one of real pleasure in this life. Before we take a closer look at the first part of this verse, I would encourage you to read verses 2-5 where Solomon gives a very graphic description of the aging process with the breakdown of the body and how it affects one’s ability to really enjoy the various aspects of life on this earth.

What does it mean to “Remember your Creator?” First of all, it doesn’t say to “Remember your Lord and Savior,” for here the emphasis is not on God giving us eternal life, but on God giving and sustaining our natural life. Later, in verse 7, we read “Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to GOD WHO GAVE IT.” Many fail to give God His rightful place as their Creator, forgetting that He is the Author of life and that they owe their very next breath to Him. In Acts 17:24-28 the apostle Paul proclaimed Him as the Creator to the heathen in Athens, Greece. That passage says, “God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is the Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since he gives to all life, breath, and all things. And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.” These words were meant to stir the hearts and consciences of the Athenians who worshiped “many gods” and were ignorant of the One true God who made them. And these words are needed just as much today, for the masses either worship a god of their own making or they deny the existence of a Creator altogether and choose to believe that we came about through a process known as evolution. In both cases, they deny the truth that God is our Creator and we are “His offspring.”

Now let’s dwell for a minute on the word “Remember.” I implied in the opening paragraph that this word involves “giving reverence” to God. The word “remember” doesn’t simply mean to “recall’ who God is, but it involves “fearing Him” and “obeying His commandments.” Solomon ended on that note in Ecclesiastes 12:13, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all.” This is also borne out in God’s words to the nation of Israel in Deuteronomy 8:18-20: “And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which he swore to your fathers, as it is this day. Then it shall be, if you be any means forget the LORD your God, and follow other gods, and serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish. As the nations which the LORD destroys before you, so you shall perish, because you would not be obedient to the voice of the LORD your God.” The Psalmist David was faithful to “remember” the Lord by being “obedient.” Listen to his words in Psalm 119:55, “I remember Your name in the night, O LORD, and I keep Your law.”

If there are young people reading these lines, I pray you will take these words to heart and “Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth.” Give Him the place that He deserves as the One who brought you into existence and who gives you the strength to live another day. In time your youth will disappear and the “difficult days” of old age will come. While you have the energy and vitality of life may you fear God with a holy reverence and obey His Word with all your heart.  (212.7)  (DO)