The whole duty of man

“The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.”

– Ecclesiastes 12:13 ESV

My pondering: The wisest, though not perfect, man of all time according to God breaks it down here for us. Who am I speaking of? Yes, King David’s illegitimate son; Solomon.

Simple but not easy. Impossible without the Holy Spirit.

Mathew Henry, the prolific commentator, writes well:
That to fear God, and keep his commandments, is the whole of man. The fear of God includes in it all the affections of the soul towards him, which are produced by the Holy Spirit. There may be terror where there is no love, nay, where there is hatred. But this is different from the gracious fear of God, as the feelings of an affectionate child. The fear of God, is often put for the whole of true religion in the heart, and includes its practical results in the life. Let us attend to the one thing needful, and now come to him as a merciful Saviour, who will soon come as an almighty Judge, when he will bring to light the things of darkness, and manifest the counsels of all hearts. Why does God record in his word, that ALL IS VANITY, but to keep us from deceiving ourselves to our ruin? He makes our duty to be our interest. May it be graven in all our hearts. Fear God, and keep his commandments, for this is all that concerns man.

The verse prior Solomon warns us that we can ‘write and read excessively’. I think he is telling us to keep the main thing the main thing. Not too get distracted by minutia, details and mere facts.

The verse following reminds us that God sees and records everything. There will be a highlight reel of our lives to watch on the other side thus the importance of having Jesus as our advocate.

My prayer: Lord, may we keep our time, talent and treasure focused on Your will.

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