Change Comes to All

Key Verse: “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.”
—Ecclesiastes 12:1

Selected Scripture:
11:7 – 12:14

THIS LESSON WAS designed to emphasize that changes in life are to be expected and that nothing is permanent. It is taken from the experience of Solomon as it relates to a person growing old and physical changes which occur. His advice is excellent for all who are young and beginning the voyage of life. If young people can get acquainted with God and learn of his character as revealed in his Holy Word, they will be equipped to survive any difficult experience that is bound to come in this “present evil world.”—Gal. 1:4

The wise man begins by telling how everyone enjoys the sunny experiences of life in contrast to the dark days of sickness and trouble. He tells the young person to enjoy the days of his youth but to always remember that the concluding times lead to an eventual judgment by God. (Eccles. 11:7-9) His words remind us what the Apostle Paul said, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” (Gal. 6:7) Few realize that in God’s plan there is a judgment day. Paul alludes to this time when addressing the men of Athens on Mars Hill. He told them that God winked at their past discretions, but is commanding everyone to repent, “Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.”—Acts 17:30,31

The change that occurs in men’s lives today is caused by the sentence of death. Youth gives way to old age. Solomon describes this change as one that occurs when conditions become dark. (Eccles. 12:2) “When the keepers of the house [the hands] shall tremble, and the strong men [the legs] shall bow themselves, and the grinders [the teeth] cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows [the eyes] be darkened.” (vs. 3) He then describes the deterioration of the body ending in death—“the dust return to the earth.” (vss. 4-7) As God said to Adam, “dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” (Gen. 3:19) This is the big change that occurs in everyone’s lives, and it cannot be avoided because of the dying process.

Solomon adds that the spirit of man returns to God who gave it. He was not referring to any spark of life that cannot die and goes back to God. Rather, he was referring to the identity, or personality, of the individual that returns to God. God will use this information on the identity of each one to effect a more important and marvelous change. This change is that of the resurrection. As Jesus said, “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming when all that are in the tombs will hear his voice and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment.”—John 5:28,29, Revised Standard Version

Solomon ends by saying, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear [reverence] God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”—Eccles. 12:13,14

Dawn Bible Students Association
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