Solomon concludes his soliloquy on getting right with God in the here and now and not waiting until it is too late, and he ends with a metaphor:
Ecc 12:6 Yes, remember your Creator now while you are young, before the silver cord of life snaps and the golden bowl is broken. Don’t wait until the water jar is smashed at the spring and the pulley is broken at the well.
Ecc 12:7 For then the dust will return to the earth, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.
Just as the earthly treasures that we chase so desperately wither and fade and rot into the ground, so will we. Looking back across time, at the Roman Emperors who wanted to conquer and covet various lands and riches, where are their riches now…better yet, where are the Roman Emperors now? They are largely forgotten and their fancy vases and silver wares, beyond a select few that are persevered into a museum, have since been plundered or broken, but basically headed into the ground among the elements that they were produced from.
Such is the case with us too, a reminder not to get too consumed by the trivialities of life that come and go, but rather to focus on God who rules eternally. As the latter part of today’s verse tells us, the spirit will return to God who gave it life.
God is the end all be all, the stuff we chase and covet in this life .and ourselves included, are headed for the grave and likely an afterthought in a hundred years.
In the sphere of eternity, God is what counts, not man nor the things that man craves like glory, fame and wealth.
Solomon ends this summation with a cynical but precise point on the whole matter of man, and what man desires — Ecc 12:8 “Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher, “all is vanity!” – as in all of this junk, including us, is but meaningless, God is what counts in the end!