Wisdom in All Seasons of Life.

Solomon offers more wisdom principles as he concludes the book of Ecclesiastes. He urges us to embrace good, simple things as we have them. As we discipline ourselves to use our energy to enjoy God's good gifts, we will be a joyful people!

Wisdom for Every Age

Solomon reminds readers of all ages that there is a judgment coming at the end of life (Ecclesiastes 11:9, 12:14). For the believer, this is not an eternal judgment but an evaluation of faithfulness. We do not live in fear as God's beloved children. This is another reminder to live life responsibly with joy.

Seasons of Youth

Being young provides tremendous opportunity and energy to do right. God's Word urges young people to use that energy to pursue God passionately. Solomon warns against using the season of youth in pursuits that will lead to emotional regret as well as physical pain (Ecclesiastes 11:10); for example, reckless recreational activity or intimacy outside its bounds created by God. Wrong choices can result in being overcome by grief, anger, and bitterness. Young people must be ready to repent when needed as they seek to rejoice, serve God, and love life.

Seasons of Old Age

As we grow older, our opportunities to do good are limited. Solomon lists many descriptions of physical decline in Ecclesiastes 12:1-5. We have to remember that life is short (Ecclesiastes 12:6-8). We must not keep wisdom to ourselves (Ecclesiastes 12:9) but share it with others.

Wisdom's Conclusions

Solomon shows the importance of handling God's Word carefully (Ecclesiastes 12:10-11). If we appreciate the message of wisdom, we will use it appropriately. "Goads" are used to motivate sheep to do the right thing. "Well-driven nails" are used to stabilize and establish. The ultimate source of wisdom, the Shepherd, is also the Judge of earlier verses.

Finally, the warmest, richest life to be found is to "fear God and keep His commandments" (Ecclesiastes 12:13). Living with God's point of view helps life make sense. With a New Testament perspective, Solomon would also tell us that we have to understand God's wisdom through knowing Christ, God in flesh (1 John 5:12). A relationship with Him changes the way we live and enables us to have real joy. Then we are motivated to share Christ's wisdom with others, giving us the same mission for which Jesus came to earth (Philippians 2:5-11).

Application Points

  • Young people, be careful not to sacrifice good and permanent things while being governed by uncontrolled passion. If you have been truly transformed by God and are walking with Him, your desire will be to walk away from sinful impulses. You can avoid the regret and consequences that come from wrong choices!
  • Do you share wisdom that you learn? Especially if you are older, any wisdom you have is meant to be taught to others! Do not waste the opportunities you have to do good in any stage of life.

Tools for Further Study

Cross References to Explore
  • 2 Corinthians 5:10 – The believer's end-of-life evaluation.
  • 2 Timothy 3:13-15, 2:24-25 – Using youth to pursue God.
  • 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 – God's boundaries for intimacy.
  • James 1:13-15 – The bondage of sin.
  • Galatians 5:13-25 – There is no limit to doing good!