Pondering Ecclesiastes 12:13 ESV
“At the end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.”
My take: Solomon should know. Being raised up under Israel’s greatest King (David), he had a 1st hand account of the rise and fall and rise of this outstanding man of God. After all, Solomon’s mother was Bathsheba. I find it amazing how God can use sin, failure and our own bloody mistakes and still accomplishes His will and wonder. He grants us free will and in spite of our often running off the road, he can turn the crash into something amazing. Beauty from ashes. Look at the cross! No greater example.
There is no other God like Him!
Solomon, after being anointed King, remained humble. God himself rewarded Solomon and asked what he wanted. Solomon was very profound and asked for wisdom to be a good ruler. God therefore gave him wisdom and then some. Solomon became the wisest and richest person to date and perhaps in all history. So after all his amazing accomplishments and lavish life, he distills it all that right here in this verse: Fear God and keep His commandments!
Unfortunately, Solomon didn’t heed his own advice totally and we definitely learn more isn’t always better yet there is a lot we can learn from this man.
By reading Proverbs, Psalms and other writings by David and Solomon there is this consistent key; Fear God. This means to respect and honor Him. To take heed of His wishes and authority. Not to take His grace, patience and blessings for granted.
And we are to keep His commandments dutifully. Not when it feels convenient but with all diligence and earnestness. Back in the O.T., these commandments we quite extensive and laborious. Jesus simplified and focused these commands.
In 1 John 5:3 we read, “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.”
The closer we abide in Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit, the more this becomes our very nature.
Jesus summed it up in Matthew 22:37-40. “And He (Jesus) said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
No doubt, in our own human strength and personal perspective, this is impossible. I prove that to my self all too often and imagine you do as well. But if we understand our salvation was (or can be) of grace and what our Leader wants and demands, then we are on the right road. Amen? Amen!
My prayer: Lord, you know my heart is inclined to wander. Direct it to the center of Your will. Empower my will to be like thine. Help me to love thee will all my heart, soul, and mind! And to pay that forward each and every day!