6-7 So before the silver cord is snapped and the golden bowl is shattered: before the earthen jar is smashed at the spring and the wheel at the well is broken—before the dust returns to the earth that gave it and the spirit-breath returns to God who breathed it, let us remember our Creator. 8 Life is fleeting; it just slips through your fingers. All vanishes like mist.
The teacher advises the readers to “remember” their Creator. Remembrance is a pervasive theme in Scripture. Throughout the Bible, God remembers His covenant people, and the covenant people are told to remember the promises and actions of God on their behalf. In the Book of Psalms, “remember” occurs 45 times, sometimes written by the suffering faithful who cry out to God to remember (Psalms 25:6–7; 74:2, 18, 22; 89:47), and sometimes by the worshiper who marvels that God has remembered (Psalms 8:4; 78:39; 111:5; 136:23). Thus remembering in the Old Testament is an action of both God and God’s people.
Memory was as fundamental to the faith of ancient Israel as it is today. Believers gather together to remember who they are and to whom they belong. This communal memory shapes reality, forms identities, and determines right living.
9 Not only did the teacher attain wisdom by careful observation, study, and setting out many proverbs, but he was also generous with his knowledge and eagerly shared it with people.Read full chapter