The knowledge of my accountability to God acts as a check on stupidity and folly in youth as in old age. He is my Judge, and far more! He is our Saviour and Redeemer! Ecclesiastes just openly looks at some of the evils He redeems us from! Be thankful!
Here we read the closing out of Ecclesiastes, and what a wonderful clear (painfully for us at times) book this has been to read through.
“The words of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the colected sayings; they are given by one Shepherd.” 12 v11
A goad is a weighty spiked stick used to drive cattle/oxen. Sharp. Painful at times, but only to set on the right path.
This is like God’s word!
Ecclesiastes is full of truths that can seem harsh, and bleak. Vanity, all is vanity!
But this is God’s word!
Ecclesiastes helps us to remember humility and meekness. Submission under God’s will, to enjoy the temporal blessings He gives to us in His time, staying away from pride and arrogance.
And how good is that last bit, “… They are given by one Shepherd.”
The Good Shepherd who loves His sheep! Who will leave the fold to rescue the one lost sheep (Luke 15)!
He has given to us His word, words of comfort and joy, words of exhortation and rebuke.
And God’s word is the mirror (James 1) that always tells us the truth (John 17 v17).
And so Ecclesiastes is an important book, we need to wrestle with what the preacher tells us.
Notice 12 v12, “My son, beware of anything beyond these. …” – We are reminded of Revelation 22 v18-19, the warning against adding and taking away from God’s word.
And in closing Solomon cuts to the quick of the matter – “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 judgement, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.”
FEAR GOD, KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS – This is our duty. The _whole_ duty.
* Father God, teach us, help us, hound us to FEAR You with a holy and reverent fear.
A fear that keeps us from taking Your Name in vain, helping us hallow it in thought, word and deed, bearing it well in the world.
A fear that warns us of the lust of the flesh, of the eyes, the pride of life.
A fear to keep us from adding or subtracting from Your word.
Please make us a people that walk in the fear of You.