Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.
This whole book has led to this climactic conclusion and leaves us with Solomon’s conclusion of his meaningless quest for a meaningful life. His experiment to find meaning under the sun led him to throw huge parties, empty vineyards for these parties, marry 700 women, hook up with 300 concubines, build forests, build houses (notice not one, but countless amount of houses) own everything in this world, and his conclusion was that it was meaningless. After all was said and done, Solomon wants to leave us with two foundational truths – fear God and keep his commandments.
So what does it mean to fear God? Does this mean we are to fear God like we fear scary movies? Are we to fear God like children (and some adults) fear the bogeyman? Absolutely not! John Piper puts it like this: “The fear of God is the fear of straying from him. Therefore it expresses itself in taking refuge in God.” Anytime someone encountered God in the Bible, they fell on their face. Not because he was scary, but because he demanded awe and respect. If I stand on the edge of the Grand Canyon, I’m going to be both scared and in awe. The awe is in its glory and beauty, and the fear is in that this thing can go wrong for me if I take one more step. The awe, beauty and majesty of the Grand Canyon draws nearly 5 million people a year. That’s what awe does – it draws you to the majestic power of God, knowing that he is going to take care of you.
The other truth that Solomon leaves us with is that we are to keep God’s commandments. In other words, be obedient to what Jesus is telling you to do. This isn’t delayed obedience, because delayed obedience is half obedience and half obedience is disobedience. When the Bible gives us clear commandments as believers, we are not to believe that someone else will take care of it, we are to do it. Knowing that God loves us should lead us to obey his commandments trusting that He is going to take care of us.
Two things that I want everyone to know that will bring meaning to your life – Fear God and keep his commandments. When these two fundamental truths are applied to your life, you will begin to walk in a deeper level of what God has for you.
“You and I must be willing to do what God tells us, as God tells us, when God tells us, because God tells us, but only strong faith will be equal to such complete obedience.” – Charles Spurgeon