Now this is just downright fun!
Glad as I am that Ecclesiastes
is coming to a close,
while reading chapter 12,
I'll admit I shook my head a bit
trying to figure it out.
Until I looked up a commentary
that gave me the context,
I was a bit confused.
So I'll first, present it to you
as a test of sorts.
See if you know
what ol' Solomon is talking about.
Remember now your Creator
in the days of your youth,
Before the difficult days come,
And the years draw near when you say,
“I have no pleasure in them”:
2 While the sun and the light,
The moon and the stars,
Are not darkened,
And the clouds do not return after the rain;
3 In the day when the keepers of the house tremble,
And the strong men bow down;
When the grinders cease because they are few,
And those that look through the windows grow dim;
4 When the doors are shut in the streets,
And the sound of grinding is low;
When one rises up at the sound of a bird,
And all the daughters of music are brought low.
5 Also they are afraid of height,
And of terrors in the way;
When the almond tree blossoms,
The grasshopper is a burden,
And desire fails.
For man goes to his eternal home,
And the mourners go about the streets.
Ecclesiastes 12:1-5 NKJV
Now certainly, this first verse
easy enough o be understood.
And then it seemed a bit poetic...
the sun, moon and stars.
A bit about the clouds,
then maybe a drought.
But who were these keepers of the house
and why did they tremble?
And the grinders who ceased
because they were few?
All I could think, was maybe
a prophecy of some sort...
a plague or a curse.
Even the foretelling of captivity.
But nothing seemed inconsistent.
Almond tree blossoms.
Mourners in the streets.
Poetic as it was,
I needed to know of what
this symbolism spoke.
Have you got it...
do you know what all this means?
Because it's not all that foreign to us.
It's not tied to the Biblical times of old...
of farming, famine or even faith.
This is a telling of what it's like
to get old... Ha!
Not that getting old is humorous
but rather, now I enjoy this cipher.
So now the clues
begin to fall into place.
As I re-read it, I see...
the sun, moon and stars...
our vision declines,
as does our memory,
which is light
within our mind.
The clouds not returning after rain,
the resilience of our body declines.
The keeper of the house,
our mind, and our head, which may
literally tremble as we grow weak.
Strong men bow down,
are seen stooping over
as bones weaken.
And the grinders cease...
this I love most,
our teeth, because they are few.
Clearly dental health not what is is today.
Look through the window dim,
possibly cataracts on our eyes.
Doors are shut, grinding is low,
we close our lips and mouth
when we can no longer eat solid food.
Rising up at the sound of a bird,
increasing difficulty to sleep.
Daughters of music brought low,
as our hearing fails,
we tend to lose our enjoyment of music.
We may become afraid of heights,
simply out of fear of tripping, falling,
or out of breath climbing up.
The almond tree blossoms,
would be the white hair of the elderly.
The grasshopper is a burden
and desire fails,
when elder men lose their confidence
and self-esteem with weakness.
What a truly amazing puzzle this became
to decipher, to determine, to discover
it's true meaning.
All of us will encounter some or all
of these ailments, should God
grant us the length of days.
So thank you, Solomon, for challenging us
to remember our Creator in the days of our youth;
to be grateful for our grinders,
to be thankful for our nimbleness,
to be pleased with this poetic lesson for life.
Word of God,
train me, today...
to be thankful for the blessings
God has granted this youthful day,
to be prayerful that God would strengthen
elderly friends, giving them
many youthful days.
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