By Tabi Julius Izza
“Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, I find no pleasure in them” Ecclesiastes 12:1
I am not yet forty, am only close to my mid 30s but I am already beginning to feel and wish there were things I did much earlier than the age at which I am. Every single day passes seldom leaving us any younger, rather even a single second spent leaves us older than a second earlier we had been. Aging is a reality and it comes with the so-called blessing of wisdom gained by experience of long life but it is also undeniable that it keeps leaving us being unable to do many things that we could do if we were much younger. I have a million times sat before older men and women who always recall what they used to do but in noway can they do it anymore.
In his vast experience ranging from great wisdom to great wealth, from multitude of wives and several hundreds of concubines, the great philosopher, the wise teacher King Solomon at a time when aged reflected on his life as an elderly man and compared it to that when he was yet young wrote: Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, I find no pleasure in them, (Ecclesiastes 12:1). This is an excellent exhortation to young people to never think of devoting their young age to the pleasures of the world and then when at ‘quarter to’ the end of their lives; they can then turn to the Lord.
While it is true that the Lord will not turn his back to people who turn to him at old age, it is worth knowing God, and being in relationship with Christ while young such that you never wish you did it earlier. At this time that wish will never be a horse to ride.
Solomon probably did not honour the Lord with his God given wisdom and wealth that he had. He instead took pleasures in the things that are but temporal instead of focusing on things that would last eternally. He took several wives about seven times a hundred that he needed at least two years to dedicate only one night for each of his wives. As if this was not enough, he took more three hundred concubines, making about a thousand women around him. This number of women (his wives and concubines) alone is two times more than the population of my village and much more than the number of people living in the Vatican City State.
Never is it surprising that we read “He was no longer committed to the Lord his God as his father David had been” (1 Kings 11:4) because of the way he took to pleasure with at least a thousand of women who later turned him to foreign gods.
What on earth does a man need three hundred concubines for in addition to seven hundred wives? As a king, he minded of marrying many women from the surrounding tribes and nations to keep good neighbourhood relationships and ultimately peace, does this legitimize his action? No, only God is the prince of peace, had he relied on God, even with only a wife, he would be enjoying peace in his kingdom. Nevertheless, Solomon’s several hundreds of women is not the focus here. My intention here is to show that he mismanaged his youthful age and he no longer can return to it than advise young people never follow to his steps.
The King identifies old age as ‘days of trouble’ when one sees no pleasures at all. Young people are endowed with special abilities which together with the charging of the Holy Spirit can be used for building up the body of Christ. I knew the Lord in my late teenage and now wish I had even known him much earlier than at teenage. I sometimes regret the energy that I wrongfully used in glorifying the enemy of Christ rather than Christ, for you either are on the side of the Lord or you are not; I faced that moment when I was not in his camp.
It is that moment when you forego a valuable time of fellowship in the church for watching a soccer game on a screen played several miles away from you. I am talking about those moments when you rather not give a coin as an offertory in the church because if you do, you will not have an entry fee to watch a soccer game. The energy that is used in a disco club instead of an overnight prayer. Where do you use your energy, your time and even that small cash you have? Do you trash it for rich people thinking you can make more money by gambling? Do you use them in a manner that when you are old, you can boldly say, “I rightly used my days of youth to glorify God?” What account will you give to the Lord if you stand at his judgment throne and he asks you to report on your life when a youth?
Whatever life you have chosen to live; I implore you to turn to the Lord now. For there is never a life elsewhere that surpasses that lived in the Kingdom of God, for whosoever is in the kingdom is either a prince or a princess and lives a life of royalty. Don’t wait to become a prince or princess in your late age, the time is now. Remember the Lord when you are yet young, be in Christ at a tender age and you will surely live the rest of your life in fellowship with God the Almighty, the Sovereign. Remember whether you chose Christ or not, regardless of how you have lived your life; “For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:14).
So begin to walk with God when you are yet young.