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Ecclesiastes: Chapter 12

To those of us who are young, healthy and vibrant the teacher says enjoy this time of your life and remember to be thankful to God for these blessings. To the rest of us who are sliding into middle age and beyond, how are you feeling? Is your eyesight less sharp? Maybe you now need bifocals or trifocals. Perhaps it’s your hearing that is going so that although you get up early in the morning you don’t hear the songbirds so clearly. Maybe you have grown a bit unsteady on your feet. Perhaps you are a bit less eager to climb a ladder to clean the gutters. The teacher points out that all these are signs of the inevitable deterioration that we will all experience with age.

Some people face this reality with grace and peace of mind and acceptance of their gradually decreasing physical abilities. Some are very proactive in their desire to maintain good health with wise food choices and regular exercise. Others grasp at every possible solution to ward off the aging process to the point that it can become an obsession. Intense physical fitness training, special diets, dietary supplements, and cosmetic surgery are billion dollar industries all focused on improving our health, appearance and maintaining our youthful looks and abilities. The teacher makes no comments on any of these; he simply points out that eventually our fate is to physically deteriorate.

The book of Ecclesiastes concludes with the teacher summing up the matter by emphasizing that all the topics he has touched on (careers, family, accumulation of wealth, physical strength, to name just a few) make no sense as pursuits unless our lives are centered on God and directed by his Spirit.

Key Verse:
“Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” ~ Ecclesiastes 12:13

Questions to ponder:

  • What is your attitude toward maintaining health through good diet and exercise? Is it a balanced approach or have you tipped over into doing too much or too little?
  • In what aspect of your life do you need to become more centered and look for God’s Guidance?
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