Page separation

Advice to the Young
Eccl. 11:8-10
Solomon now an aging man gives his advice to young people. Considering what he has been to, let’s
see what he wants young people to know and what he wants them to do. To the world’s standard,
he has everything in life. He has brains, riches, power, influence, powerful friends and allies, slaves,
properties like beautiful houses, gardens, horses, and of course beautiful wives, (I would assume his
wives are all beautiful because he is a king). So, what more can a man ask? Yet his tone is not as
happy or joyful as one expects. Let’s hear from him.

I. About long life (Eccl. 11:8)
A. A man may live a long life
B. He may live a luxurious and enjoyable or happy life. One that is really satisfactory
and envied by others.
C. He may have all the reason to enjoy good food, quality time for his family and
friends, anything a man longs to have.
D. However, there will be “days of darkness”. There would be days of afflictions,
weakness, days of adversity, and maybe old age in which his health will fail.
E. These “days of darkness” according to Solomon will be many.
F. While we may ignore and easily forget some problems that we have encountered,
including difficulties that we have endured while we were young, we can never deny
them. Our life under the sun will never be pure happiness and enjoyment. There will
be some sufferings which we will experience and can never avoid.
G. The days of darkness or days of sufferings and affliction though difficult and painful
can be beneficial and can make us a better person.

Illustrations: Learning Through Afflictions
Contrary to what might be expected, I look back on experiences that at the time seemed especially
desolating and painful with particular satisfaction. Indeed, I can say with complete truthfulness that
everything I have learned in my 75 years in this world, everything that has truly enhanced and
enlightened my experience, has been through affliction and not through happiness.
Malcolm Muggeridge, in Homemade, July, 1990

II. Rejoice in thy youth (Eccl. 11:9)
A. In this verse we are commanded to rejoice at our youth or young age.
B. It is for me a command and a warning.
C. As a command, there are many instances in which we can rejoice in this life.
1. We can rejoice while we eat and drink.
2. can rejoice at the fruit of our labours.
3. Rejoice and enjoy life with the wife of your youth
4. Rejoice at whatever additional blessings the Lord had given us
5. As we all can see, life is full of inconsistencies. There will be good and bad times
that will happen to all of us.
6. But with all our life’s ups and downs, it is still good to be alive, and this world is
still a beautiful place to live.
7. In the New Testament, Paul in his letter to the Thessalonians, wrote that we are
to rejoice evermore (1 Thess. 5:16).
8. The Bible lists some difficult situations in which we can still rejoice like:
a. Famine (Hab. 3:17)
b. Persecution (Acts 5:41)
c. Imprisonment (Acts 16:23)
d. Poverty (2 Cor. 6:10)
e. Loss of property (Heb. 10:34)
f. Fiery Trials (1Pet. 4:12-13)

Illustration: Rejoicing Always
A saintly woman who had suffered for weary months from a painful illness said to her pastor, “I have
such a lovely robin that sings outside my window. In the early mornings as I lie here, he serenades
Then a smile brightened her thin features as she added, “I love him because he sings in the rain.”
That is the most beautiful thing about a robin. When a storm has silenced every other songbird, the
robin sings on. That is what the Christian who is with Christ may do. Anyone can sing in the sunshine.
You and I should sing on when the sun has gone down, or when clouds pour out their rain, for Christ
is with us. (A Treasury of Bible Illustrations.)

D. Let your heart cheer thee, walk in the ways of thine heart and in the sight of thine
eyes are all admonitions to enjoy life.
E. As a warning, Solomon is telling the young people not to pursue all the sinful
pleasures that youthful age finds exciting, instead he is urging them to do
wholesome activities that is approved by God.
1. God will judge all sinful things that you will commit. Judgement may come while
you are still living and if not, you will be judged in the afterlife.
2. Sinful pleasures can lead people to experience:
a. Bitter memories (Ps. 25:7)
b. Shame and remorse (Jer. 3:25, 32:30).
c. Disease and death (Job. 20:11). Millions of young people died due to
sexually transmitted diseases.

III. Put away evil (Eccl. 11:10)
A. Solomon now urges the removal of sorrow. The final argument offered which should
motivate this action is that the years of youth are temporary.
B. Young people should avoid sins which affects spiritual and the physical life. Young
people are exhorted to find genuine joy in their youth not through carnal things but
spiritual, that one makes us closer to God.
C. Sin brings decay and sickness (I Corinthians 6:18).
D. The apostle Paul in the New Testament has given us also his advice. 2 Corinthians
7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from
all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

Illustration: The Source of Sin
God is not the source of sin; he neither commits nor wills nor prompts it (James 1:13). God made
rational creatures who were capable of loving him freely and by choice and that meant they could
freely choose not to love him—which is what some angels and all our race have done. How such
disobedience is possible, while God is Lord of this world, we cannot conceive; that it is possible,
however, is undeniable, for it has happened.
How did sin enter the cosmos? Scripture tells us that Satan and his angels rebelled against the
Creator before man was made (2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 6), so that when the first human beings appeared
“that ancient serpent, who is the Devil and Satan” (Rev. 20:2) was there to trip them up (Gen. 3).
And “the tempter,” the “ruler” and “god of this world” (1 Thess. 3:5; John 14:30; 2 Cor. 4:4) still
marauds with serpentine cunning and lion-like savagery. It is right to trace moral evil back to Satan
as its patron, promoter, producer, director, and instigatory cause.
Where do the inclinations to evil which I find in myself, and so often yield to, come from? The Bible
says their source is my own heart (James 1:13–15; Mark 7:21–23). Just as a cripple’s twisted leg
makes him walk lame, so the motivational twist of my fallen heart—anti-god, anti-other, selfabsorbed—
constantly induces wrong attitudes and actions.
Your Father Loves You by James Packer, (Harold Shaw Publishers, 1986), page for February 24

IV. Conclusion:
We may live a long wholesome and happy life but that does not mean there will never
be problems. There will be “dark day” and it will be many. We should rejoice while we
were young but in enjoying our youth, we should avoid sin and shun evil. You can only
do this if the Lord Jesus Christ is in you. Repent from your sins now and receive Him as
your personal Saviour.

Page separation