The last chapter of Ecclesiastes, chapter 12, Solomon directs his thoughts toward the youth. Solomon has come to the end of his days and describes the decline of life figuratively and humorously in verses 1-7.
As an old man, Solomon realizes where the true place is to find meaning in life. He intentionally makes an effort to encourage the young to seek God in their youth. In verse 11 and 12 he said, The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails—given by one shepherd (God). Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them.
Solomon was emphasizing the value of God’s wisdom describing it as a goad (a pointed stick used to drive Sheep – to keep them on the right path). The nail represents the security and steadfastness of God’s Word. God’s Word is what can keep us on the right path and keep our life secure and steadfast. He encouraged his son to cling to God’s wisdom. Solomon described how he sought diligently to find the right words, to help his son, youth, and others understand the importance of following God’s path (vs. 9-10).
Are you a parent, grandparent, or teacher? You can follow Solomon’s wise example in Ecclesiastes and Proverbs and take every opportunity to teach younger generations the importance of following God. Also, to encourage them to follow God early in life!
So what is the whole duty of mankind? Read Ecclesiastes 12, then play the trivia game below and you will find the Solomon’s answer! (This is a fun way to teach youth God’s Word too! )