Scripture Reading: Ecclesiastes 9:13-12:14 / 1 Corinthians 9:1-18 / Psalm 96:1-13
Concluding remarks are designed to recap what has been said or written. They are the last words that the speaker wants his listeners to hear and an author wants the readers to remember. Failure to bring things to a good conclusion will often negate what has been communicated and bring great confusion.
Solomon expressed and wrote many different thoughts in Ecclesiastes. Some concepts seemed to be contradicting yet all of them make us stop to reflect and digest his proverbial truths. It is easy to get lost in thought and overwhelmed by the depth of his wisdom. Our spirits and attitudes can fall prey to discouragement, dismay and even a “meaningless” disposition.
Thankfully, Solomon brings all of his thoughts to a conclusion that is understandable and practical. “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter; Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” (12:13) God is to be exalted above all the questions, complications and mysteries of life. An unwavering heart of reverence and obedience to God is required among all of life’s obstacles and unknowns.
Everything must fade in the light of His brilliant presence and purpose. When our eyes see His glory and grace; He illuminates our steps and paths. God becomes bigger than anything that life throws at us! Our lives find hope, strength and joy by simply giving God everything.
Solomon follows these concluding words with a strong truth…one that is designed to warn us of impending consequences if we dismiss God and His power. “For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” (12:14) Man will give an account to God for their deeds. Excuses, blame and ignorance will not be valid arguments before the all-knowing God. Motives and hearts will be judged; everything will be made known.
This last verse in Ecclesiastes should bring fear and stir obedience in the hearts of the world. For Christians, it should be a reminder that God is not mocked and He wants all of our hearts, souls and minds. Yet there is also a great promise found in this conclusion. Every deed and hidden thing will be judged…even the good that withstands the fire of His judgment. He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him and I long to hear His concluding words to me, “Well done thou good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of the Lord!”