You, Covenant Youth, are to remember your Creator.
And then the idea is not that you are now and then to think about Him. Solomon in Ecclesiastes 12:1 does not mean that at set times you are to give some thought to the fact that God brought you forth, and that therefore you are obliged to serve Him with all the creatures that He brings your way. Remembering Him is much more than that.
There are two elements in remembering. God gave us that marvelous power of mind whereby we can store in it an amazingly great number of facts. From the early, very early days of our childhood, we have been storing away fact upon fact. As little babes you remembered your parent’s voices and looks, long before you could speak to them. And through twelve or more years of schooling you have picked up and filed away in the “gray matter” thousands upon thousands of facts. But God also created us with that mental ability of recalling what we retain. Sometimes it takes only a word to suggest an event of the past, and then we bring it back before our consciousness. The sound of the, “Hello” over the phone, and at once you remember a certain person with that voice. Sometimes what we see at once brings back before our consciousness an event that happened long, long ago. And we have that power even whereby we can just sit down and review the whole day or week, or some experience of last year. It is a wonderful gift; and it is so strong within you in the days of your physical strength. It is at its peak now in the days of your youth. That is why Solomon tells you to remember your Creator in these days of your youth. Now you are most apt to forget God. But now is the time that God gives you the strength of this faculty of retaining and recalling the truth that He is your Creator.
And Solomon has something special in mind when he writes these lines to YOU, Retain the truth concerning God indeed. Recall that truth concerning Him by all means. But the point that Solomon makes here in this text is that you are to live in the consciousness of that fact. All that which you do must be the result of remembering in love that God is your Creator, and that you are His creature that has been brought into being in order that you may serve and glorify Him.
O, I know, you cannot have Him consciously before your minds every moment of your life. While you sleep you cannot be remembering God as your Creator. And if what Solomon meant was that not for one split second might you lose sight of that fact, then Solomon would be admonishing you never to go to sleep. That he does not do. What is more, as creatures of time and space, we can do only one thing at a time and be in only one place at a time. And there are works that require our undivided attention. You have had the experience time and again that as you crammed for an exam, you just had to put out of our mind the Junior-Senior party that is scheduled a few days hence. While talking about a certain matter you have found repeatedly that you had to dismiss thoughts about other matters from your minds. Although it always amazes us how you can do any studying at all with the radio blaring at full blast, or with the record player spinning one platter after another, even you, in the days of your youth, have your limits and limitations. And you have had those moments when the “kids” just had to be silenced and kept out of your room, if you were going to do any worthwhile studying. So it is also with what you and I know about God as our Creator. We cannot while working some intricate algebra or geometry problem, or while trying to memorize some chemistry formula, have consciously before our minds the living God as our Creator.
What Solomon means is that before you set out to do anything, you do so in the consciousness of the fact that God is your Creator, and not only deserves but demands your service in love. It means that when you wake up in the morning, your first thought is to give Him thanks for the sleep of the night and for caring for you while you were asleep. He it is Who kept you breathing and your heart beating. If these depended upon you, I would advise you never to go to sleep. But they do not. Paul says that in Him we live and move and have our being. And indeed that movement of heart and lungs and of all our vital functions of our earthly life is from Him. It means also that upon awaking you remember that before you is stretched another series of moments in which to use the Creator’s creatures, including your own amazing body and soul, as His royal priesthood, and as stewards of His goods. You are to awake with the Creator before your consciousness. We do not. But that is our calling. And this we are to remember and will remember, when we remember our Creator.
That undoubtedly was the experience of Adam and Eve before they fell. In all the creatures they saw the Creator. And if they spent a few days in the state of righteousness before they fell into sin, then the light of day which they saw the moment of waking up reminded them of God. For they saw God in that light. They saw Him in their own bodies. They saw Him in the food that they ate and in the birds and beasts that in beauty and abundance paraded in front of them. At that time all their remembering was remembering their Creator. They could not at that time imagine such a thing as remembering a Redeemer or Saviour. They could, because of God’s command to them, conceive of being under wrath and in need of a Saviour, but there was nothing yet to indicate that God would ever provide a Saviour. We know that God did because of God’s World; and we can also remember God as our Redeemer, because we who have fallen have had this Redeemer revealed to us. This does not rule out our calling to remember our Creator. The fall has not removed this at all. And salvation once again enables us to remember that God is our Creator and that we live for the glory of His name. It is for that reason that we are to let the truth of our relation to Him, as the creatures of His hands, rule us in all of our thinking, willing and acting.
Before we begin a work there must be that thought before our consciousness that we are God’s and not our own. And then in the execution of that work, the truth that we and all of our possessions belong to Him must control us until the work is finished and we begin another in that same consciousness.
You are now either giving some serious thought as to what line of work you are going to pursue, or are already working and earning a salary. If you are in the process of choosing a field of work, or contemplate doing so in the future, you had better remember your Creator and reckon with Him in your thinking. And as you choose, you are to remember that there are fields wherein you will be required to forget your Creator. These, of course, are to be rejected. Likewise there are places of work that must be avoided, because they will demand of you that you forget that you are God’s creature with the calling to keep His commandments and honour all who are in authority over you. Of course we mean that you may not unequally yoke yourself with the unbeliever in a labour organization that demands of you deeds of rebellion against the man to whom you have hired yourself out to serve. If you acknowledge him as the one who hires you, you admit that you are the servant, and then the Word of your Creator comes to you through Peter, as surely as it did in his day to those who were slaves, “Servants be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. For this is thank-worthy, if a man for conscience toward God (his Creator, then) endure grief, suffering wrongfully.” I Peter 2:18, 19.
Your dating will also take on a different character than that of the world. If you remember your Creator, you will remember your calling before Him. Remembering your Creator is remembering to do what He calls you to do. It will therefore also cause you to desist from that which He has forbidden you to do. Marriage is honorable and good; and He as Creator has made you for marriage and all which belongs to it. But He has created you in order that you may live a holy life before Him and so that He may reflect His own holy life in yours. Here then again you cannot be remembering your Creator when you yoke yourself unequally with the unbeliever to spend with that unbeliever the intimate life that He has designed for the married. Dating will take on a new character. It will have a new purpose. But so will also the behavior on that date. It is because we forget Him that we get out of line. For, getting out of line is leaving the narrow line that He has drawn.
In that same connection remembering your Creator will also prescribe a very definite course for what we call entertainment. It simply is an undeniable fact that you have too much time on your hands. And we do not say this to find fault with you. We as your parents and predecessors have made it that way, because our flesh wants it that way. We have clamored for shorter working hours and more time for sports. We have introduced daylight saving time, long before you could vote it in or out, because we wanted to have it light for a long time after our work day for sports, recreation and the like. And with our modern means of transportation we can go far in a matter of minutes to seek this form of recreation or that, or to seek entertainment of one sort or of another. Not only that, but with our amazing means of communication we can get that entertainment right in our homes.
Let me here again remind you that it is your Creator that you must remember. You know as well as I do, and you have heard the world itself condemn the rot that is available by the flip of the switch of your television set, that you can observe the world in its immorality and evil so much more easily than we could. And talk about the development of sin! How much closer and easier it has all been made for you! Years ago to revel in this filth of the world and to be entertained by such evils as murder; adultery, theft and the like you had to sneak into the movie building. Then later in the dark you could ride into the drive-in movie without being detected. (Unless some one recognized your car license, or you had a car bf some unique color combination.) But now you need but wait for your parents to go away; and in the comfort of your home, Presto, there it is! BUT remember that your Creator is there! What a lot of idolatry there still is in us. How quickly we put man in the place of God. That God sees and hears we can dismiss from our minds so quickly. It is father or mother, the elder or your ministers; who must not know. You have forgotten your Creator Who has demanded of your parents, the elders and minister, that they forbid you this or that evil. It would be amusing, if it were not so serious, to observe how people will look around to see whether the minister, an elder or some saintly soul is around before they curse or swear or tell their dirty stories. And when they are caught in it, they feel guilty before man rather than before God. “O, I hope,” they say, “that so and so did not hear me.” There is no thought of confessing it before God.
But you, Covenant Youth, remember your Creator. You cannot escape His eye and ear. You cannot escape calling before Him. Before you speak, before you act, remember that you are to serve Him. Before you plan, before you put into effect a thought or desire, remember that you are the creature who owes the Creator constant love and service with all creatures at all times.