The Inevitability Of Death

Remember Him before the silver cord is broken and the golden bowl is crushed, the pitcher by the well is shattered and the wheel at the cistern is crushed.

–Ecclesiastes 12:6

In Ecclesiastes 12, Solomon gave a second reason for making God central in our life, and that is the inevitability of death. I love the story David Jeremiah told about an elderly couple who were planning their wedding. One day, they walked into a drugstore and asked, “Do you sell heart medication?”

The employee said yes, so the couple continued, “How about medicine for high blood pressure? Rheumatism? Memory loss? Hair loss?” Once again, the answer was yes. “What about wheelchairs and walkers?”

The employee replied, “Yes, all sizes and speeds are available here.”

The couple said, “That is great news! We will use this store for our bridal registry.”

That is what Ecclesiastes 12:2-7 is about–the approaching ailments of old age. Solomon said we should remember God “before the sun and the light, the moon and the stars are darkened, and clouds return after the rain; in the day that the watchmen of the house tremble” (vv. 2-3). That is probably a reference to shaking hands. He continued, “The grinding ones stand idle because they are few” (v. 3). The loss of our teeth. “And those who look through windows grow dim” (v. 3). Failing eyesight. “And the doors on the street are shut as the sound of the grinding mill is low” (v. 4). Loss of our hearing. “Men are afraid of a high place” (v. 5). Fear of falling. “The almond tree blossoms” (v. 5). White hair. “The grasshopper drags himself along” (v. 5). A picture of the effects of a stroke.

Solomon went on to say, “Remember Him before the silver cord is broken and the golden bowl is crushed, the pitcher by the well is shattered and the wheel at the cistern is crushed; then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it” (vv. 6-7). Solomon was saying old age and death are coming, and they are coming more quickly than you imagine. As James wrote, “You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away” (4:14). Death is inevitable. So the wisest thing we can do is to build our lives around the only person who can rescue us from the grave: Jesus Christ.

***

Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Graduation from Hebrew High” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2009.

Story adapted from David Jeremiah, “31 Days to Happiness” (Nashville: W Publishing, 2013), 306.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.

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