Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

“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 judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14)

Here is the crux of it all. Here is where humanity will find happiness, joy, and peace. Here is where one can make sense of this life under the sun; “Fear God and Keep his commandments.” Here in lies the keys to an abundant satisfying life in this world and hope for the world to come.

To fear God is to have a right respect and understanding of who He is. To fear God is to relate to Him properly. As Solomon reminds us in Proverbs, “By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for, and by the fear of the Lord one turns away from evil” (Proverbs 16.6). This proper fear of the Lord can lead to a faith relationship with Him and thereby bring about redemption.

It is paramount that one come to this place in their life, because there is coming a day when God will judge every deed. There has been appointed a time of judgment whereby all men will stand before God. Therefore, it is imperative that we come to the place in our lives, while still under the sun, that we turn from our sin and trust Christ, so that when that day of reckoning comes we will be able to stand. Here the Preachers plea and follow his advice regarding the matter.

Grace to all,

Ronnie

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Ecclesiastes 12:11-12

“The words of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are given by one Shepherd. My son, beware of anything beyond these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh.” (Ecclesiastes 12.11-12)

It seems to me that the pertinent point of this passage is that truth originates from one source, namely God. There is a lot of information in this world that claims to be truth, but much of it is derived from the heart and mind of man rather than God. Unfortunately, most of us spend our lives searching out this inferior, and often, relative truth. Many of us spend thousands and thousands of dollars achieving credentials in the truth of this world. Don’t get me wrong. Education is not in and of itself a bad or negative thing. However, much of the “truth” claims we encounter in the education process are derived from a secular humanistic world view and in opposition to the transcendent absolute truth found firmly rooted in the person of God.

As the Preacher reminds us in this closing section of his book, there is a never ending claim to truth that constantly produces more and more material to attempt to validate itself as the authority. But, the Preacher reminds us that One Shepherd is the source of absolute truth and that we must beware and cautious of anything beyond this one source of truth. In other words the wise person will spend the majority of his time understanding the truth presented by the One Shepherd and cautiously weigh everything else against this one source of truth. One could wear themselves out trying to know all the truth claims presented in this world, so the best and wises use of our time is to spend it understanding the ultimate truth from the One Shepherd so as to be able to discern the validity or the falsity presented in the truth claims of the world. So, let us study to show ourselves an approved workman who is able to rightly divide the word of truth give to us by the One Shepherd.

Grace to all,

Ronnie

Ecclesiastes 12:1

“Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say, ‘I have no pleasure in them'” (Ecclesiastes 12.1)

I used to work with a gentle man who was somewhat older than me. I used to joke with him about being old. He in return would always tell me, “Just keep on living.” Now that I have crested 50 years of age, still young I know by that accounting of many, I am more keenly aware of the end of this journey.

One of the blessings of my life is that God saved me when I was a teenager and I have for the majority of my life given myself to His service and His Lordship. I have not always done that perfectly and will never do it perfectly this side of that “great gett’n up morning.” One of the greatest joys and saddest things that I see in this life and in the modern American Christianity is that we make a great ta do over those who come to Christ after they have squandered their life in sin, and rightly so, because of the great mercy and grace of God who has spared them the judgment due them and has graciously imputed His righteousness upon them. Yet, we make very little of those who from a very young age who have walked faithfully with the Lord. There are times when we give the impression that such people really don’t have a great testimony.

I would beg to differ. You see we fail to realize that we are all desperately depraved and wretchedly wicked from birth and deserve to be cast into outer darkness. We fail to realize that whether 9 or 90 God has condescended Himself and plunged into the filthiness of human depravity and snatched each of us from the pit of putrid sinfulness. Every person who is born again is in the same boat. God has graciously imputed our detestable sin upon Christ and Christ has imputed His glorious righteousness upon we who believe.

I admit that there may be a little of the older brother syndrome in this thought process, but it is clear that God, through the Preacher is calling humanity to come to him in their youth and don’t wait until they have lived their life. Let’s celebrate that and encourage that in our children today. And yes, let us rejoice in the one who is snatched from the pit of hell even in his old age or rescued from the most detestable of sinfulness. But, let us not make light of those who were rescued from the same detestable state in their youth.

Grace to all,

Ronnie.

Ecclesiastes 11:9

“Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. walk in the ways of your heart and the sight of your eyes. But know that for all of these things God will bring you into judgment.” (Ecclesiastes 11:9)

Scripture is replete with the concept of judgment. As the Preacher has stated here in our text, a man can live his life and fulfill every desire of the heart and every delight of the eye. But, he must always know that their is a Divinely appointed day of reckoning.

The author of Hebrews reminds us of this in a very clear way, “And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment” (Hebrews 9.27). Every action, every thought, every idle word, will be reckoned on the day of judgment. Every man and woman will have to stand before the great judgment seat of Christ. The Apostle Paul confirms this for us in Acts 17:30 when he states, “The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”

There is coming a day when every human being will be judge by God according to the things he or she has done. In that day books of record will be opened. In that moment when those books are opened every human will be found guilty based upon the deeds written in those books. The only hope one will have in that moment is that their name may be found written in the Book of Life. The only way to have your name written in the Book of Life is to repent of your sin and trust Christ as your savior now while you are in the land of the living. Those who have trusted Christ, when they stand before God on judgment day, there names will be found in the Book of Life and they will be judged, not on the things written in the books, but based on the righteousness of Christ which has been imputed to them.

There is a great day of reckoning coming by which all humans will be judged. Trust Christ today an know that in that day you will stand redeemed by the blood of the Lamb.

Grace to all,

Ronnie

Ecclesiastes 6:6

“Even though he should live a thousand years twice over, yet enjoy no good – do not all go to the one place?” (Ecclesiastes 6.6)

The Preacher has shared this sentiment on more than one occasion in this book. All of this is couched in the thought that a man can acquire all the wealth in the world, but if he has no joy in the blessing with which he has been blessed it is vanity. The underlying problem is that our appetite for joy and happiness can is so veracious that the fleeting joy and happiness that the material things of this world bring never fully satisfy the longing in our soul.

As the preacher posits, a man could live nearly 30 life times and still find in the end that his life is just as empty as it began and his destiny is just as it is for all men who live and then die. The only real answer is to understand that true and lasting joy and happiness does not and cannot be found in the things of this world. True and lasting joy and happiness comes through a proper relationship with the God. It is the blessedness of the presence of God in ones life and the eternal hope we have in Him that fills and satisfies the longing for true joy and happiness in ones life.

In Christ we have joy and happiness. In Christ we have hope and peace. In Christ we find the stability of all of these no matter our circumstances. In Christ we can agree with the Apostle Paul when he says, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). The context of Paul’s statement is that he knows how to live with plenty and he knows how to live with little, but in either case his joy and happiness and peace are found in Christ not in his current circumstance. Let us all remember that true joy and true happiness comes through Christ. In him we can enjoy the abundance of blessing and in Him we can endure with joy the times of want.

Grace to all,

Ronnie

Ecclesiastes 5.10

“He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity.” (Ecclesiastes 5.10)

As said in another place in scripture, “the love of money is the root of all evil.” While money is a necessary tool in life it should not be the passion of our life. We all need money to life and function in this world, but we all need to understand that money will never solve all of the problems of the world nor bring lasting joy and peace. These things only come from a right relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

While we must engage in good honest work to attain money we must not let that become the driving force of our life. We must trust God that if we do work hard that He will bless us by meeting the needs that we have which are often met through the acquisition of money via an income. We must also come to understand that money is a tool to be used to care for our family and to glorify God. We must never let our focus become the money, but the maintain our focus on the Kingdom and use all of our resources to glorify our Lord. Let us be consumed with the One who blesses more than the blessing.

Grace to all,

Ronnie

Ecclesiastes 11:5

“As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything.” (Ecclesiastes 11.5)

Wow what a verse, so rich in theology and mystery at the same time. First, in this verse we have verification from God’s perspective that a child is a human being because the child is endowed with a human spirit in the womb. So, human worth and the sanctity of life are mattes that begin in the womb not after birth. Those inalienable human rights endowed by our creator reach into the womb and apply to an unborn child. So, any and all attempts to validate abortion are a blatant violation of those God given rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Secondly, we realize that God has, what theologians call, both a “secret will” and a “revealed will.” This truth is captured best in Deuteronomy 29.29, “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” We have his revealed will in His word, both written and Living. We have in the Bible the knowledge of God and the attributes of God that He has revealed to us. We have in the Living Word, namely Jesus Christ, the image of God manifest to us in the flesh. We have a glimpse of who God is and how He has interacted with humanity throughout history. We have the ability to know Him through the things He has revealed to us. What an amazing act of love that the transcendent Creator of this universe would condescend to make Himself known to mankind. Let us rejoice and search out all that their is that we can know about Him.

Finally, we have in this verse the reality that there is so much more about God and His plan that we do not know and do not at this time have the capacity to know. God is so much more that we can imagine. He works are so much more than we can comprehend. I think the Apostle Paul expresses this most accurately when he writes, “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been His counselor? Or who has given a gift to Him that He might be repaid? for from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen” (Romans 11.33-36).

Let us live in light of the things we know about Him and trust Him in the things we do not know or understand.

Grace to all,

Ronnie