Ecclesiastes 12

Ecclesiastes 12 seems to focus on what can happen if we get consumed by the world around us.  The author reminds us that connecting with God early is important, before we get swayed by the negativity of the world around us.  “Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near”.  Statistics show that it is increasingly difficult for people to come to know Jesus the older they get.  The days of our youth are critical in our spiritual formation.  As parents, it is so important that we help our kids understand who Jesus is and what it means to have a relationship with Him.

The chapter has a long list of descriptors around what life is like just prior to death.  “The dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it”.  That’s a pretty matter of fact way to describe death. But the reality is that our time on earth is not the main event.  It is but a speck on the timeline of eternity.  That doesn’t mean it is not important, in fact, it is very important.  It determines the rest of eternity.  So how we live matters.  The choices we make are critical and eternity changing.  Life matters – we need to live it well and God’s way!

The writer boils it all down to this: “Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man”.  Pretty simple way to lay out God’s plan for us.  He is looking for obedience.  Plain and simple obedience.  We are to fear God – which is putting Him in His rightful place in our lives and recognizing that He alone is the Creator and Controller of all things.  And then we are to keep his commandments – which have been written down and given to us clearing in His Word.  We don’t have to guess – He wrote the manual for how we are to live.  What’s left is for us to choose to obey, or not.

And in case you think this is really a suggestion, not a command, the writer clarifies it for us.  “For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil”.  Read that again and let it sink in.  Notice the word ‘every’ used twice.  Nothing is going to slip under the radar.  There are no secrets.  You didn’t get away with something like you may have convinced yourself.  Others may not have caught you, but you will have to explain it when you stand before God.  Judgment is coming.  And the reality is that God will hold us responsible for what we have done, or in some cases haven’t done.  He has set the standard and unfortunately we will fall short.  That is why Jesus came and died on the Cross.  Because without that gift of grace, we are not good enough.  We will fail when it comes to the obedience test.  Don’t fail the test.  The result is eternal!

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