Ecclesiastes 12 has Solomon wrapping up his discourse on life making the conclusion of what is, has been, and will be. He has given us plenty to think about through these twelve chapters, and as he summarizes his teaching, he begins by telling us to “Remember also your Creator”. He’s looking back from his old age to the days of his youth, to a time when he wasn’t quite so pessimistic and jaded in how he views the world. He recalls the many things that he’s experienced in life, and recognizes that God has been part of all of it as Creator. We have no right to ourselves. God has created each one of us and we exist to love and serve Him.
Solomon taught God’s Word. “Besides being wise, the Preacher also taught the people knowledge, weighing and studying and arranging many proverbs with great care”. He has given us much wisdom and prods us toward the true wisdom that only God can provide. He has taught us well as he “wrote words of truth”. We are fortunate to have God’s Word to read, study and obey. There really is little excuse for our lack of knowledge of what God expects – it’s been written and taught by many of God’s servants. Guzik shares these observations of how we should proclaim God’s truth:
- He should teach the people knowledge.
- He should seek to find acceptable words.
- He should seek to bring forth that which is upright – words of truth.
- He should make his words as goads and well-driven nails, with point and direction.
- He should bring forth the words given by one Shepherd.
- He should realize that good study is wearisome to the flesh and be willing to pay that price.
Solomon boils down the summary of his teaching to this statement: “Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man”. That’s about as simple as it gets. If we want to please God and fulfill our destiny it boils down to one things – obedience. Solomon had learned that it was worth it to fear and obey God. This is man’s all – the entire destiny to which God has called us. We are to be in relationship with Him, know His truth, and live it in fear of God. There is no other mission for which we have a higher calling. It is His purpose for our life.
And soon we’ll stand before God and give account around how we have done. “For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil”. There is and will be an eternal accounting around everything we do. In the end, everything will have meaning. Every decision we made, every choice we selected, every action we executed – we’ll stand before God and have to explain our actions. Things matter to God. All things, little or big, will be on the table. We’ll fall short and need the grace of Jesus’ death on the cross to cover our sin, but we’ll stand there condemned on our own. That is the outcome of life – we’ll face God and give account. Are you ready for that meeting?