Enjoy Life: It is a Gift From God
Introduction: This is Solomon’s sixth and final admonition that we accept life as a gift and learn to enjoy all that God shares with us (see 2:24; 3:12–15, 22; 5:18–20; 8:15; 9:7–10). In order to do this, we must obey three instructions: rejoice (11:7–9), remove (11:10), and remember (12:1–8).
a. Actually this is the sixth and final time that Solomon says to enjoy life. (2:24; 3:12–15, 22; 5:18–20; 8:15; 9:7–10). What are the reasons given for enjoying life in these verses?
b. We don’t always appreciate the rising of the sun in the morning. Many of us can associate with the distaste that the world has with a true “morning” person. If you have seen the McDonald’s coffee commercial you understand what a true anomaly that a morning person is.
c. What does it take for us, other than a cup of coffee, to appreciate each morning/new day?
d. What is Solomon’s advice for the young?
e. How does he qualify his remarks on enjoying life?
f. Why do people think that Christians don’t have any enjoyment in life?
g. How can we help change their minds?
a. Many times we do things in our youth that we are sorry for latter. Some are little things that might damage our bodies. The more dangerous things are those that would damage our spirit and cause our walk with God to be in jeopardy. Any of you do any dumb things that you are still paying for?
b. Solomon wants to see us protected from things like that. So does God.
Charles Spurgeon “Youthful sins lay a foundation for aged sorrows,”
c. The word “youth” means “blackness of hair” indicating youthfulness as opposed to gray hair indicated aged.
d. What does the gray haired wish he or she knew when they naturally had black hair?
a. Now is the time to remember the creator.
b. Some say that the time of youth is for sowing wild oats. What does Solomon mean?
keepers of the house—Your arms and hands tremble.
strong men—Your legs, knees, and shoulders weaken and you walk bent over.
grinders—You start to lose your teeth.
windows—Your vision begins to deteriorate.
doors—Either your hearing starts to fail, or you close your mouth because you’ve lost your teeth.
grinding—You can’t chew your food, or your ears can’t pick up the sounds outdoors.
rise up—You wake up with the birds early each morning, and wish you could sleep longer.
music—Your voice starts to quaver and weaken.
afraid—You are terrified of heights and afraid of falling while you walk down the street.
almond tree—If you have any hair left, it turns white, like almond blossoms.
grasshopper—You just drag yourself along, like a grasshopper at the close of the summer season.
desire—You lose your appetite, or perhaps your sexual desire.
long home—You go to your eternal [long] home and people mourn your death.
c. How does he picture death? The golden bowl crashes as the silver cord breaks, a broken lamp and a broken well.
d. The body then decays and returns to dust.
e. Why does Solomon want people to remember that? Why don’t we want to think about it?
f. How does it avoid bringing emptiness and vanity?
Ecclesiastes 11:7-12:8 (KJV)
7 Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun: 8 But if a man live many years, and rejoice in them all; yet let him remember the days of darkness; for they shall be many. All that cometh is vanity. 9 Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment. 10 Therefore remove sorrow from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh: for childhood and youth are vanity. 1 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; 2 While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain: 3 In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened, 4 And the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of musick shall be brought low; 5 Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets: 6 Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern. 7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. 8 Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity.