The End of the Matter Is Fear God

When Solomon became old he followed the idolatrous ways of his wives. They turned his heart toward all their gods. Solomon, then forsook the Lord. He did evil in His sight. He did so for all of his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods (I Kings 1:7-8).  As a result, the kingdom was divided after his death. When we read the book of Ecclesiastes we see Solomon’s backslidden way of express himself and in the end of the book, his return to the Lord. The book of Ecclesiastes’ purpose is not only to investigate life, but to teach that life in general is meaningless without the fear of God. Solomon experienced all blessings that life can offer in his life time. God did not spare His blessings upon him. But he became defiant against God and walked contrary to Him. In chapter 2 of Ecclesiastes we read how he in retrospect viewed his life. He says, I made great works; I built myself houses, I planted vineyards; I made for myself gardens and orchards and I planted in them all kinds of fruit trees; I made for myself pools of water from which to water the forest and make the trees bud; I bought menservants and maid-servants and had servants born in my house. Also I had great possessions of herds and flocks, more than any who had been before me in Jerusalem; I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and of the provinces. I got for myself men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men – concubines very many. So I became great and increased more than all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my wisdom remained with me and stood by me. And whatever my eyes desired I kept not from them; I withheld not my heart from any pleasure, for my heart rejoiced in all my labor, and this was my portion and reward for all my toil (Eccles. 2: 4-10). Solomon then concluded that all what he had done was “vanity and a striving after the wind and a feeding on it, and that there was no profit under the sun.”

Nothing mattered in the life of this great king because he took for granted all that constituted blessing in his life, including the Giver; he had gone astray from the purpose why God had blessed him. Therefore, his attitude does not connect with the teachings of Paul who taught a life of contentment and thanksgiving. Solomon, more than other person who ever lived in this earth, should have had a fulfilled life- physical and spiritual. Solomon’s lust of the eyes held him a prisoner. For that reason, his weakness overcame his power. He is still considered the wisest man that ever lived on earth, but also one of the most wicked kings. How can that be? Obviously, he did not allowed wisdom to guide him, as he asked God. Gone through life away from God, he became idolatrous and even agreed to the sacrifice of children to please his wives. But his life did not end that way. He concludes the book of Ecclesiastes with a beautiful advice for all: Remember your Creator; do not wait until you are too old to acknowledge Him. Remember Him while you are young, before the evil days come or the years draw near when you will say, I have no enjoyment in them; before your sight is impaired and depression sets in; before your hands and arms tremble and the feet and the knees bow themselves and the molar teeth cease because they are few; and the eyes are darkened; when the lips are shut in the streets and the sound of the teeth is low, and one rises up at the voice of a bird and the crowing of a cock, and the voice and the ear are brought low; when the old are afraid of danger from that which is high, and fears are in the way, and their white hair blooms, and a little thing is a burden, and desire and appetite fail, because man goes to his everlasting home and the mourners go about the streets or marketplaces; remember your Creator before the silver cord [of life] is snapped apart, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher is broken at the fountain or the wheel broken at the cistern [and the whole circulatory system of the blood ceases to function]; then shall the dust [out of which God made man’s body] return to the earth as it was, and the spirit shall return to God who gave it (Eccles. 12:1-7 from the amplified Bible).

All has been heard; the end of the matter is: Fear God, keep His commandments, for this is the whole of man and the whole [duty] for every man, for God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it is good or evil (Eccles. 12:13-14). In other words, the summary of the matter lies on the reverence and worship of God, acknowledging Who He is, observing His commandments, for this is the purpose for which man was created, and man is the object of God’s providence. This is the duty of man. At the end he will be judged by his works- good or bad when all will be exposed. Man’s life is only profitable when his path follows the duty he has before God. Nothing else matters “under the sun,” only that which is done to fulfill God’s purpose for man. The rest is “futility of futilities.” All will be gone when eternity shines through man’s life.

THINK ABOUT IT!

Author: Jacinta da Cruz Rodgers

I have been committed to teaching the truth of the Word of God beginning with Trans World Radio on Bonaire, N.A and Swaziland, Africa (1969-1980), then through churches in the United States in both English and Portuguese and then through ministry in Israel (2005-2006). This ministry continues through local Bible studies and outreach to the world via the internet. I have written a book about my life from that of an orphan in Brazil to missionary in 5 countries. You can find out more on the "Book" page of our blog site.

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