Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw near, when you shall say…
That word "remember," standing where it does, must mean a great deal. It must mean to keep in mind the thought of God as the shaping, constructive, sovereign influence in life. The idea of beauty the artist paints by; the idea of the special harvest the farmer tills the fields by; the chart the mariner sails by. So of the idea of God. We are to think by it; we are to feel in reference to it; we are to work under its inspiration; we are to live by the power of its life and incentive. The idea of God is illumination and power. It is interpretation, and it is the power of realization. Now for two or three thoughts urging us to this practice in youth.
1. First of all, youth is educable. If a man wants to be a mechanic, or a merchant, or a physician, he begins early. It is essential to the trade or the profession that it shall be so. If a man wants to Christianize his life, to make that life religious, ought he not to begin early, in analogy with other things which he does? Just as the hot wax receives the impression clearly and retains" it lastingly, so the impressionable mind of youth receives the stamp of the character of God more clearly and retains it more lastingly than in the subsequent periods of life.
2. Then consider, too, how simple life is when we are young. Look at the business man of forty, and see how his life has left its original simplicity. He is no longer simply a son and a brother, a friend and a student: he is himself a husband and a father, and a business man with a hundred cares and responsibilities. His life has branched out into wonderful complexity. It is intricate, complicated, hard to manage. Now, suppose that the man of forty begins to be religious. How difficult is his problem — to take that single force of the grand idea of God and send it through all these relationships in which he stands! It is like an attempt to thread not one, or ten, or a score, but a hundred needles at once. But, if the man begins early, it is different. He is a son; and he lets the love of God bear upon that relation, and seeks for the power of God to realize the meaning of it. He is a brother, a friend, a student. These are the simple relations in which he stands. Let him bring these under the divine illumination, open his heart to the power that leads him to realize the divine meaning of existence. Then, when his life enlarges, it will be a process of assimilation. Life will be simply the growth of godliness.
3. Then, again, if a man wants to make any high attainment in religion, he must begin early. What is religion but the consecration and the perfection of human life? And, if it be the consecration and perfection of human life, ought not the passion of a man's heart to be for eminence in it?
4. If we begin early, we may expect finally the consummate blessing and power of the religious life — spontaneity in work, spontaneity in noble views of God, in noble views of men and of the future of the world, spontaneity in goodness.
(G. A. Gordon.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;