Rejoice O Young Man In Thy Youth
Mr. John Phillips of Marietta, Ga., shares with us his sixth of a continuing series of brief, terse studies in the book of Ecclesiastes.
Scripture Reading: Ecclesiastes 11:9
Drawing the threads of his sermon together, Solomon turns to the youth of the land. Youth have the best of it, he feels. “Rejoice, O young man,” he says, “in thy youth.”
Youth rejoices in its visions, for youth is idealistic. It set out to conquer the globe, right the world’s wrongs, and change its course. It is impatient of delay and scornful of obstacles. Youth needs a course for which to demonstrate and dare, do and die. That is why youth needs Christ.
Youth rejoices in its vitality. The young man has energy to burn; he wants action, not discussion. He wants to get a move on and get things done. Youth cannot stand still. It is fresh and fervent; its blood runs strong. That is why youth needs Christ and why Christ needs youth. Youth can face the jungles, march through cities, subdue the wilds for Christ. Youth’s mind is active to learn new tongues, its physique is strong to bear the brunt of the battle. Youth needs guidance, but Christ can channel its energies and zeal.
Youth rejoices in its virtues. The young man has not yet had time to become cynical and sour. Youth has its problems and passions, but it has not settled into the rut and grave of ingrained habit. And when a young man sees the way of victory through Christ, it dominates his life. To him, that way of power is no cold theological nicety or dogmatic formula to be carefully outlined and catalogued. It must be seized upon, translated into action, put into practice, harnessed to life. “Is it true?” demands the young man, and “Will it work?”
The young man rejoices in his vices. That is why it is urgent that he meets Jesus. Youth is bold and often brazen, scornful of older and wiser morals. The young man’s blood is hot, and this is his danger and his vanity. Too often youth’s visions and vitalities and virtues are mortgaged to its vices. Youth rebels, experiments with sin, and rushes into danger making shipwreck when scarcely out of port. That is why Solomon not only tells the young man to rejoice in his youth but hastens to warn of judgment. Youth needs Jesus. For Jesus can cleanse and conquer sin; He can set the captive free and crown youth’s rejoicing with life forevermore.