Hear Me! Fear God!
9Besides being wise, the Preacher also taught the people knowledge, weighing and studying and arranging many proverbs with great care. 10The Preacher sought to find words of delight, and uprightly he wrote words of truth. 11The words of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are given by one Shepherd. 12My son, beware of anything beyond these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh. 13The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. 14For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil. —Ecclesiastes 12:9-14
We have been examining how Ecclesiastes is Solomon’s book of repentance and how he passes on the wisdom acquired from his failures. We also looked at God’s amazing plan of how He can redeem any and every situation when we repent, fear, and obey Him.
Now let’s look at what life looks like after the mistakes, after the forgiveness and redemption, and what our life should look like going forward. It all begins and ends with verses 13 and 14. “The end of the matter; all has been heard.” Yes Solomon, in your life, all has been heard. What did you learn we should do? “Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.”
Remember, Solomon is writing this under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. So do you get what God is saying to you and me today? It’s straightforward. It means what it says. It’s pretty simple to understand, but so very hard to do. You can know a lot of information about God, but if you don’t fear God, it doesn’t matter what you know. (Very wise Solomon would know a lot about that.) Solomon is sharing this from a heart of a man who wasted his life. Ecclesiastes is like a last ditch effort to redeem his life’s mistakes. Solomon is like, “Hear me. Listen please. I wasted my life. God gave me the opportunity of a lifetime, and I wasted it. I didn’t fear God or keep His commandments and now I see that my whole life was meaningless. I am filled with regret. So, don’t do what I did. Learn!”
Here’s the bottom line. Most people, including me, sometimes think that if we just had more money, power, influence, respect, friends, education, or whatever, we would be content. But what would Solomon say? “You’re wrong. I did all that and all I have to show for it is a huge, gaping hole in my heart. If you don’t fear God and keep his commandments, it won’t matter what you have.“
So now you know. What are you going to do with it?—Jason Fevig
· When I evaluate my life, do I tend to learn from others’ mistakes or my own?
· When I learn from my own mistakes, who else suffers the consequences along with me?
Prayer – Father in heaven, I praise You because You show Your love for me in so many ways. You care about every detail of my life. You long for me to live in such a way that I would have life to the fullest, and You give me Your Word so I can know how to do this. Forgive me for thinking I know more than I do and help me to follow Solomon’s teaching to fear You and follow Your commandments all the days of my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.