Ecc 12:5                    Fear of the Power of God                                     7/1/2012        

·        27 Parables (Ecc 12:1-8)

 

 

#1.       While the Evil Days Are Not Yet (Ecc 12:1-8, Matt 24:29, Luke 21:26, Gen 9:8-17)

 

 

 

·        The Keepers of the House Shall Tremble (Ecc 12:3, Matt 16:18, Ezek 34:1-3, Jer 23:1-2, Jam 2:19, John 6:35, Am 8:11-12, 2Thess 2:11-12)

 

 

 

·        All the Daughters of the Song (Ecc 12:4, Rev 15:3-4)

 

 

 

#2.       Afraid of That Which Is High (Ecc 12:5, Matt 7:13-14, 1Tim 6:9)

 

 

 

·        What Happened to the Almond Tree? (Ecc 12:5, Heb 9:4, Num 17, John 6:35, 11:25)

 

 

 

·        Mourners (Ecc 12:5, Am 8:11-12, Matt 24:30)

 

 

 

#3.       While the Silver Cord Is Loosed (Ecc 12:6, John 4:10,13-14)

 

 

 

·        Remember Now Thy Creator (Ecc 12:1)

Please open your Bibles to the Prophecy of Ecclesiastes, Ecc 12:1 (2X). I plan to cover 8 verses in Ecc 12 today. We have here a problem of major proportions. There are 27 parables in these 8 verses. You realize that we cannot develop all 27 of them in the 50 minutes that I have available in this sermon. But all these 27 parables have one common theme. They all refer to the fear of man for the power that God is going to display during the Final Tribulation Period. Therefore the title of this sermon is, Fear of the Power of God (2X). Solomon understood that this world would come to an end so that the time would come that God will judge all mankind, and Solomon understood that God would only bring this world to an end when the wickedness of man has increased beyond a certain threshold. Solomon understood that God is particularly displeased when His congregations would slide into idolatry. And so, near the end of time God will judge most congregations because they have become a maintenance ministry. But Solomon also knew the inherent wickedness of man, and he understood that the preachers near the end of time would want no part of a prophecy which predicts that these same preachers would be wicked idolaters. Therefore Solomon clothed his prophecies in parables that are hard to understand, as a safeguard that his prophecies would not be erased by the publishers of these prophecies. This seems to be one of the reasons why we are now dealing with:

·        27 Parables (Ecc 12:1-8)

Ecc 12:1-8, “1  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; 2  While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain: 3  In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened, 4  And the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of musick shall be brought low; 5  Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets: 6  Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern. 7  Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. 8  Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity.” Both the KJV and the literal translation from the Interlinear are rather liberal translations. Most commentators interpret this passage as if it refers to a dying man. They took this from the silver cord that was loosed as a symbol for physical death. But then, why would God place this passage in the Bible? What has the dying man to do with the Gospel? We need to apply the principle that the Bible is a spiritual Book which God inspired for the purpose that some will be saved. We know that God never intended all men to be saved. But the Gospel message needs to go out into all the world so that all those whom God intended to save will hear and will believe the Gospel. But when we approach the end of time the number of those whom God intends to save will become smaller and smaller, like in the days of Noah. Therefore God’s intensity of spreading the Gospel will also taper off so that fewer and fewer people are saved. This will be perceived by many as a period of great tribulation, because people are becoming callous toward the Word of God. Those are the evil days. But before the evil days come God shows us the phenomena we should expect during the Final Tribulation Period. And then we shall see the fear of mankind for the power of God.

#1.       While the Evil Days Are Not Yet (Ecc 12:1-8, Matt 24:29, Luke 21:26, Gen 9:8-17)

I am going to discuss this passage in terms of the literal translation out of the Hebrew text. Ecc 12:

Ecc 12:1-8, “1  Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, so long that the days of the evil do not come, and strike the years when you shall say, Not for me is pleasure in them; 2 so long that not the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars are darkened, or the clouds return after the rain; 3 in the day when the house of the guards trembles, and the men of valor will bend, and the grinders will be idle because they are few, and those looking out the windows are darkened; 4 and the doors are shut in the streets when the sound of grinding is low, and One arises at the sound of the bird, and all the daughters of the song are silenced. 5 Also they are afraid of a high place, and terrors along the way; and the almond tree causes despising, and the locust makes himself a burden; and desire breaks because man is going to the house of his eternity; and the mourners go about in the street; 6 while the silver cord is not yet loosed, or the golden bowl is crushed, or the pitcher is shattered at the spring, or the wheel is crushed at the cistern; 7  then the dust will return on the earth as it was, and the spirit shall return to God who gave it. 8 Vanity of vanities, says the preacher, all is vanity.” You can see that in this passage the Hebrew text differs from the KJV in quite a number of places. Put a sticker here in Ecc 12:1 and please turn to the Gospel According to Matthew, Matt 24:29, and put a sticker there also. Paraphrased this passage tells us, “Remember your Creator in the days when you were still young and when the Final Tribulation has not yet come, and when the sun, or the moon, or the stars have not yet been taken away.” What is God talking about? Matt 24:29, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:”

In other words, at the end of the Final Tribulation, when God is about to destroy the earth, God will remove the light bearers and the time keepers, and mankind is struck in fear for the powers of heaven shall be shaken (Luke 21:26). And what is the people’s fear about the clouds and the rain? Mankind shall be in fear that the rain will continue as it has in the days of Noah. No one believed when the Bible states that the flood was a worldwide flood, but now it enters into everyone’s mind that God is punishing people for their unbelief. You see, they also do not believe that God swore an oath that He would not again destroy mankind with a worldwide flood, because people do not read the Bible any more. They sense that the end of the world is near, but they still do not turn to the Bible (Gen 9:8-17).

·        The Keepers of the House Shall Tremble (Ecc 12:3, Matt 16:18, Ezek 34:1-3, Jer 23:1-2, Jam 2:19, John 6:35, Am 8:11-12, 2Thess 2:11-12)

Literally the Hebrew text says in Ecc 12:3, “In the day when the house of the guards trembles.” What does the house of the guardians refer to? The house refers to “The house of the Lord,” which here on earth refers to the church. Where does the Lord dwell? He dwells only in the souls of those who truly have been saved, which are those who have been “Born Again.” Therefore the Lord Jesus could say in Matt 16:18, “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” What church did the Lord Jesus refer to when He said, “The gates of hell shall not prevail against it?” It was the eternal church which consists of all the souls of those who have been truly saved by Christ on the cross. Christ is the Rock, and the eternal church is built on Christ, the solid Rock. Not all those who are members in a corporate church belong to the eternal church, for there are many who belong to a corporate church but they have never been saved. Christ does not dwell in their soul. And so, the church is not dead like you hear from the man on the radio. He is a false prophet. The church cannot be dead, for the Lord Jesus said, “The gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Even at the end of time there will still be a remnant, chosen by grace, who will still be alive and will belong to a church where there are truly saved people.

But who are the guards of the house? Who are the guardians of the kingdom of God on this earth? Who are they that tremble at the second coming of the Lord? Are they not the pastors and teachers who have not faithfully preached the Word of God? Please turn in your Bibles to the Prophecy of Ezekiel, Ezek 34:1 (2X). The apostacy we read about in the New Testament is a repeat of the apostacy that took place in the Old Testament. For example, we read in Ezek 34:1-3, “1  And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 2  Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks? 3 Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock.” It is a subject matter that permeates this entire chapter in Ezekiel. It is a condition that will be abundantly present during the final tribulation period. We also read in Jer 23:1-2, “1  Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD. 2  Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD.” During the years of the final tribulation Antichrist shall dwell in the pastors and teachers of pulpits worldwide and overtake many churches that were initially faithful churches. And when we think of those that tremble, we remember the words of Jam 2:19, “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” Indeed the devils also believe and tremble. Antichrist is alive and well in the souls of pastors and teachers in pulpits worldwide, and they tremble when the end is near.

Further in Ecc 12:3 we read, “And the men of valor will bend, and the grinders will be idle because they are few.” The “men of valor” in the Bible are always those who are on the side of God, fighting against the forces of evil. But now, during the final tribulation, the men of valor will give in to the pressures all around us, and they will compromise their solid stand for Christ. “And the grinders will be idle.” Who do the grinders represent? The name “grinders” is a synonym for “millers”, those who grind the grain into flower. Flower is used to make bread, and bread is pointing us to the Lord Jesus Christ who said in John 6:35, “I am the Bread of Life.” And so, the grinders are those who preach the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. But why will the grinders cease, or be idle, when there are but few of them? Please turn in your Bibles to the Prophecy of Amos, Am 8:11 (2X). This has to do with the response of God for the wickedness of mankind. When the wickedness of man increases and idolatry is brought into the churches, God shall give them their evil desires. Notice, it is God who is doing it, not Satan. Just like in 2Thess 2:11-12, where we read, “11  And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie: 12  That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” We read in Am 8:11-12, “11 ¶  Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: 12  And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.” They shall not find it, for the grinders have ceased to bring the Gospel. They gave up, for people are no longer attracted to the true Gospel. Please turn again to Ecclesiastes 12:4.

·        All the Daughters of the Song (Ecc 12:4, Rev 15:3-4)

Here is a peculiar expression we do not want to miss. We read in Ecc 12:4, “And all the daughters of the song are silenced.” What song does Solomon refer to? The most likely answer is the “Song of Moses”, for this is the song that is also referred to in Rev 15:3-4.

Not one of the Egyptians escaped. They all died. By that fact God gave us a sign that this event at the Red Sea was a picture of the Judgment of God on sin, at the cross and on the Last Day. The Red Sea symbolized Hell. In His atonement on the cross the Lord Jesus Christ, typified by Moses, walked through the depths of Hell bringing all His elect with Him, for we were in Him. He alone endured the depths of Hell, but by the grace and mercy of God we walked on dry ground. The Egyptians tried to do the same, but they did not have God’s approval for doing so. They had a self-help gospel. They did not want to wait for God’s approval, and so they did it on their own, copying what they saw the children of Israel do. But God was angry and God buried them in Sheol, down to the last of them. Thus shall God do in the judgment on the Last Day. Of all those who have a self-help gospel not one of them shall escape Even as Moses, so Christ leads His people out of the house of bondage to sin and Satan. Even as Moses and his people, so Christ and His people are the object of the persecution and wrath of the enemy. But even as Moses, so also Christ leads His people safely through the waters of separation and of wrath, and strikes those waters of the wrath of God, so that they become at the same time a means of salvation for His people and a means of destruction for the enemy. Can you see how this rejoicing about the death of the Egyptians by Moses and the children of Israel is like the rejoicing about the death of the wicked in the Imprecatory Psalms? They are rejoicing even though it is a certainty that Pharaoh and all his army are going to be cast into Hell. What a gruesome prospect for all those Egyptians. And God did this for our edification, so that we would learn to know who He is. Compare this situation now with the people of God who stand on the sea of glass in Rev 15. Please turn to the Revelation of Jesus Christ, Rev 15:3 (2X). These people standing on the sea of glass are all delivered from sin and from the oppression of the enemy. And they can already see how God will pour out His wrath upon the enemy of Christ, for out of them have seven been chosen to pour out that wrath upon the world. And therefore, their condition is now exactly like that of the children of Israel after they had passed through the Red Sea and had seen the destruction of their oppressors. And for that same reason they now sing the same song, exalting the power of Jehovah, the salvation of His people, and the wrath that will be visited upon the wicked who have oppressed them for so long. And now we see that the song of Moses is also the song of the Lamb. Even as Moses taught his people to sing his song, so the Lamb taught His people to sing this song. They are essentially alike, they sing essentially the same theme, the one of Moses is just a type of the song of the Lamb in Rev 15:3. Let us hear then what they sing. We read in Rev 15:3-4,

Rev 15:3-4  And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.

First of all, there is nothing in this song that glorifies man. From beginning to the end it is an exaltation of the greatness and the power and the glory of God. It is God’s greatness, and God’s Truth, and God’s righteousness, and the holiness of God that is here celebrated. And when we compare this with the song of Moses in Ex 15 we find the same elements there that glorify God, but not man. Secondly, these multitudes also sing of the final fulfillment of all prophecy, that now all nations should fear Him and glorify His name. For a time it seemed as if all nations would be worshipping Antichrist. But now we can see that it is all different. They who feared Antichrist were not the nations, but were the branches of the nations that were to be cut off and cast into outer darkness. The nations have been preserved and they are represented by this multitude. We too, while we are still in this world, may already sing this song of Moses and of the Lamb, although we do not yet sing it in perfection. Even our best singing sounds in the ears of God like the braying of a donkey. But God looks upon the heart. That is what counts. We are still in the world, in a sinful body, and we are still in the midst of a spiritual battle against spiritual wickedness in high places. But by the grace of God we can listen to the song of the redeemed multitude, and learn it, and look forward to the day when we all shall stand by the sea of glass, delivered from sin and oppression, delivered from the enemy who always surrounds us, and we are free to serve and glorify the God of our salvation in order to sing the song of Moses and of the Lamb. May our faith cause us to look forward in hope, and teach us to sing this song of victory in the midst of our spiritual battles.

Now drop down to verse 5 where we find 7 parables in one verse.

#2.       Afraid of That Which Is High (Ecc 12:5, Matt 7:13-14, 1Tim 6:9)

Ecc 12:5   Also they are afraid of a high place, and terrors along the way; and the almond tree causes despising, and the locust makes himself a burden; and desire breaks because man is going to the house of his eternity; and the mourners go about in the street;

What are these people afraid of during the final tribulation? They are afraid of a high place. What is the high place that God always holds before our eyes all throughout the Bible? It is the high place of being righteous in the sight of God. It is the high place of being a child of God, the Bride of Christ. There is no higher place than that. But how do we get there? First of all we can only get there when we have been chosen by the Father to be in Christ from before the foundation of the world. And then, after we have been crucified with Christ, and we died with Christ, and we rose again from the dead with Christ, the Lord leads us through this barren land and He leads us through some difficult situations. Please turn in your Bibles to the Gospel According to Matthew, Matt 7:13 (2X). We read there about the broad way and the narrow way, the wide gate and the narrow gate. Most of you are familiar with these verses, but let me show you what the Greek text says, and in the New Testament it is not the KJV but the Greek text which is the inspired Word of God. We read in Matt 7:13-14,

Matt 7:13  Enter ye in at the strait (narrow) gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction (perdition, <684>), and many there be which go in thereat: 14  Because strait (narrow) is the gate, and narrow (troubled) is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” The word “destruction” should have been translated “perdition”, for this is the Greek word with Strong’s Concordance number 684 which is normally translated “perdition”. There are many, such as the man on the radio, who have taken the KJV as their inspired text and have come up with the doctrine that hell does not exist. That is a false gospel. For instance, Judas Iscariot and Antichrist are both called “the son of perdition”, which means “the son of hell.” There is a distinct difference between “destruction” and “perdition” which the KJV translators were well aware of, for we read in 1Tim 6:9, “But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction <3639> and perdition <684>.” And so, the Lord said in Matt 7:14 that the narrow way is a difficult way and a troubled way. Ecc 12:5 tells us that there are terrors along the way. Why would anyone choose this narrow way? In fact, there is no one who will choose this way, No not One, for the Lord Jesus said that salvation is as impossible as drawing a camel through the eye of a needle, and this refers to an ordinary sowing needle. But for God all things are possible. And so, what does the Lord tell us in Ecc 12:5? He tells us that during the final tribulation people are afraid to become righteous before God, for they do not like to suffer persecution, and they do not like to suffer the hardships that accompany the honor of being a child of God. They will rather bend the truth a little, and they prefer to sit in the pews rather than go out as a soldier for Christ. And so, “they are afraid of a high place, and terrors along the way.” It tells us that they have lost their love for Christ, and they prefer to be comfortable, rather than having something to offer to the Lord. But now:

·        What Happened to the Almond Tree? (Ecc 12:5, Heb 9:4, Num 17, John 6:35, 11:25)

We read in the KJV, “And the almond tree shall flourish <05006>.” What has this to do with the Gospel? This is not at all what the Hebrew text is saying. The Hebrew word <05006> does not mean “flourish” but it means “despising”. And since this is a verb, and it was stated in the Hiphil tense, and in the imperfect tense, it actually means that it causes despising and that the despising is still going on today. What does this mean? We have to consider the context. The context speaks of a list of all the calamities that we can expect during the final tribulation, and one of those calamities is that this tree causes despising. How shall an inanimate object, such as a tree, be the cause of despising? How can this tree be the cause of despising the Gospel of Jesus Christ crucified? Does the almond tree in any way play a prominent role in the Gospel story? And the answer is YES! Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Hebrews, Heb 9:4 (2X). This ties into a longer story which was written in the Prophecy of Numbers, Num 17, but since we do not have time to cover that Old Testament story we will only consider only one verse in the New Testament. We read in Heb 9:4, “Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant.” The occasion was when the children of Israel were again murmuring against Moses. Paraphrased the Lord said unto Moses, “Collect one rod as a representative for each tribe, write the name of the chief of that tribe upon the rod, write Aaron’s name upon the rod of Levi, and lay these rods in the tabernacle before the Ark of the Covenant, and come back the next morning. The next morning each one of the chiefs picked up his rod, but Aaron’s rod had changed. The day before it was a dead stick from an almond tree, now it was alive and brought forth buds, and flowers and almonds. And the Lord said to Moses, “Take Aaron’s rod again and put it in the Ark of the Covenant as a token against the rebels.” This Ark of the Covenant was placed in the temple that Solomon built, and remember that Ecclesiastes was written by Solomon. And now there were three precious articles in the Ark of the Covenant: “There was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant.” The golden pot that had manna, the bread from heaven, was pointing to Christ as the Bread of Life, for the Lord Jesus said, I am the Bread of Life (John 6:35). Aaron’s rod that budded was pointing to Christ as the giver of life from the dead, for the Lord Jesus said in John 11:25, “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:” The tables of the covenant refer to the two tables of stone wherein the Ten Commandments were written by the finger of God. These tables of the covenant were pointing to Christ as the Word of God.

Now, Aaron’s rod that budded was cut from an almond tree; it is no longer with us, for the wickedness of the children of Israel has caused God to burn down the temple with all that it contains. But today people do not read the Bible any more, neither do they believe it. They do not believe that Christ is the resurrection and the life. They do not believe that spiritual regeneration of their soul can take place. They do not believe that the power of God can raise the dead at the end of the world; neither do they believe the power of God to regenerate those whom He elected before the foundation of the world. They pray to a god who does not have that power, a god who responds to man’s crying rather than a God who proactively executes His will. And so, all those who do not believe in a God who rules the world by His own sovereign power have in fact thrown out Aaron’s rod that budded. The sovereignty of God is a subject matter that causes despising. He almond tree from which Aaron’ rod was cut has caused despising throughout many churches worldwide. And this is the message that is conveyed in the prophecy of Ecclesiastes, “The almond tree causes despising.” The Gospel of Jesus Christ crucified, with its power to give life where there was no life, has caused despising.

·        Mourners (Ecc 12:5, Am 8:11-12, Matt 24:30)

Furthermore we read in Ecc 12:5, “The locust makes himself a burden; and desire breaks because man is going to the house of his eternity; and the mourners go about in the street.” The locust is called the “Scourge of God”, because the locust causes the beginning of a famine. Everything green has been eaten up. But is this a famine of food? NO! Look at this now from the spiritual side. It is a famine of hearing the Word of the Lord, like in Am 8:11-12. Does this mean that suddenly all the Bibles in the world disappeared? No; the word of the Lord abides forever. There will still be many Bibles, but the number of faithful Bible teachers will have dwindled to almost nothing. That is how there will be a famine of hearing the Word of the Lord.

“And desire breaks.” What desire is this? The desire to love the Lord and His Word is broken, for fear has filled mankind; fear of dying and fear of facing the Judge of all the world, and fear that they are not going to measure up to the standards of the righteousness of God. There is no more time to find repentance. “Because man is going to the house of his eternity.” There will be a separation between the just and the unjust, between the righteous and the wicked, between those who are loved by God and those who are hated by God. And “the house of his eternity” does not refer to one place but to two places. The righteous will go to a place of glory, and the wicked go to a place of torment. But in both cases it is a permanent place where they will dwell for an eternity. Please turn again to the Gospel According to Matthew, Matt 24:30. And there we read about the mourners:

Matt 24:30, “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” Why shall all the tribes of the earth mourn? They shall mourn because all the righteous have already been taken up in the rapture. You see, the rapture is not something that occurs 1000 years before the end of the world, but the rapture occurs on the last day. And that is why all the tribes of the earth shall mourn.

#3.       While the Silver Cord Is Loosed (Ecc 12:6, John 4:10,13-14)

Please return to Ecc 12:6. We read here about many things that are broken. But we need to remind ourselves that all these things have a spiritual meaning. Most people interpret the silver cord as the line through which God keeps us alive. Nonsense! Physical death is not the penalty for sin. Physical death is only a reminder from God that Judgment Day is awaiting those who still need to be judged. We all shall stand before the judgment throne of Christ, but not at the same time. The elect of God have already stood before the Judgment throne of Christ when Christ suffered and died on the cross. We shall not stand before the judgment throne a second time. But all the unsaved have not yet stood before the Judgment throne of Christ. They will be judged on the last day. We read in Ecc 12:6, “While the silver cord is not yet loosed, or the golden bowl is crushed, or the pitcher is shattered at the spring, or the wheel is crushed at the cistern.” The silver cord is the cord that attaches us to the grace of God. As long as there is grace God’s plan of salvation is still in force, and the Gospel is preached throughout all the earth. But when the last of the elect has been saved, God’s grace will cease to flow, and the unsaved on the earth will cease to benefit from the presence of the elect in their midst. Likewise the golden bowl does not refer to someone’s skull. Gold is a heavy precious metal, and gold is a soft and very pliable metal, and thus it does not refer to someone’s skull. But vessels of gold are used for offerings to the Lord. What would the golden bowl contain when it is offered unto the Lord? Most likely it will contain the prayers of the saints, not the prayers of the non-elect, for the prayers of the non-elect will not be heard. And so, when the golden bowl is crushed the prayers of the saints are no longer offered unto God, for the time of the end has come.

Likewise the pitcher that is shattered at the spring refers to a large and deep jar that is broken. What is this jar for, and why is it at the spring? It is there because Christ fills it with the water of the Gospel for the people to drink it. We need our souls nourished with the water of the Gospel, living water, so that we do not run dry. The pitcher is broken when the Gospel is no longer preached.

Likewise the wheel at the well of water is the wheel of a pulley which is used to lower and raise a bucket into the well. The well is a deep shaft, and there is clean water at the bottom of the well. But when the wheel is crushed there is no more water available, and people shall have to move to another well of water, which may not have the clear water of the Gospel. We may get a clear view of the water of the Gospel when we consider the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well in Sychar. The Lord Jesus said to her in John 4:10, “If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.” And then a few verses down the Lord said to her in John 4:13-14, “13  Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: 14  But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” Whoever drinks of the water of the Gospel that Christ shall give him and becomes saved, shall become a new well of living water through whom others might become saved. But on the last day there will be no more living water available; grace has ceased and those who are still unsaved remain unsaved.

·        Remember Now Thy Creator (Ecc 12:1)

Ecc 12:1, “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;” Now is the time to remember thy Creator. When the final tribulation has come upon us we will most likely not have the time to think all this over. Just like the young man who says, “I will repent when I am old.” But when he has become old he contracts cancer, and then he will be so busy with his cancer that he will have no time to think of the Lord or to think of repentance. You see, man is a creature of habits. When we are young and we are accustomed to criticize other people and to criticize the pastor or other people in the church we show that we have no love for Christ or for the brethren. When we are old we are still in the same mold, and any disease we get is only making us more bitter and more at odds with the church and with everyone else in our society. This is a miserable life. If God has mercy on us He will take away all the things that we find valuable, and He makes our world cave in, and we think that our life has become an absolute disaster. It is only then that we may realize that our love for Christ has been missing all those years, and it is only then that a recovery is in view.

Paraphrased, God says in Ecc 12:1, do not be such a stubborn mule. Remember your Creator when you are in your youth, and do not wait until the Lord draws your attention with a two by four. Remember your Creator now, for as you get older you are drawing closer to the final tribulation period and Judgment Day. Those are evil times. Those are days you would rather not be living through. Those are days when the forces of evil are more intense in drawing you away from the Lord. Think about this: In the good days when you were young the probability of becoming saved was already very small, as illustrated in Matt 7:13-14 by the many on the broad way and the few on the narrow way. But as you get older this probability becomes even smaller, much smaller, because the temptation to sin becomes bigger and bigger. Reason this out, and do not wait.

AMEN.                  Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.