The Conclusion Of The Matter

Here at the end of Ecclesiastes 12, we read the conclusion of the book.  Solomon sums up life in two commands in verse 13 (Ecclesiastes 12:13, NIV):
  1. Fear God
  2. Keep His commandments

Solomon tells us that we will all face God’s judgment and this is how, in Solomon’s day, one would escape God’s wrath.  But how could this happen?  Who could fear God perfectly?  Who could possible keep all of His commands?  You could try and do the best you could, but the weight of sin is just too heavy.  The lure of sin is too great.  

But then…
The hinge of history changed everything.  The cross of Jesus Christ is the hinge of history.  Jesus is the only One who ever fulfilled Ecclesiastes 12:13 perfectly!  He kept ALL of the commandments of God.  He lived His life in reverential fear of God the Father.  He did what we could never do.  He offered up His own life as a ransom for ours and now we have access to God’s incredible, amazing grace.  Instead of trying to live lives of self-righteousness, we find that Christ’s righteousness is applied to us by God’s grace through putting our trust in Christ for salvation by grace through faith.  We express our trust in Christ by believing in Him, repenting from sin, confessing our faith and being baptized by immersion.  God washes us clean as we call on the name of the Lord (Acts 22:16).  By the grace of God we are free and forgiven.  We can’t be good enough for it.  We can’t buy it.  We can’t earn it.  It’s a gift freely given to all who will accept it by faith in the Son of God.  Now, as Solomon wrote, we “fear God and keep His commandments” not because we are afraid of judgment and wrath.  No, we “fear God and keep His commandments” out of gratitude and love for our Judge.  For when we see our Judge on that last day, we will discover that He is also our Savior.

Ecclesiastes 12:9-14 (NIV)

Not only was the Teacher wise, but he also imparted knowledge to the people. He pondered and searched out and set in order many proverbs. 10 The Teacher searched to find just the right words, and what he wrote was upright and true.

11 The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails—given by one shepherd. 12 Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them.

Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.

13 Now all has been heard;
    here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
    for this is the duty of all mankind.
14 For God will bring every deed into judgment,
    including every hidden thing,
    whether it is good or evil.

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