Sunday, August 10, 2014

The End of the Story

Read: Ecclesiastes 12:8-14

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.                       Ecclesiastes 12:13 

     Are you one of those people that only wants to know how the story ends? There are a lot of people who don’t really care about all the details in the story; they will skip to the end of the book because they just don’t have the patience to wait through the particulars to find out what happens to the main character. “Does he become the hero? Does he save the girl? Do they end up getting married?” – these are the questions that burn so uncontrollably in the minds of some as they read that they are forced to peek into the last chapter first. They just have to know. I suppose it would save a lot of time if books were only one page long and gave a complete summary of the plot in that allotted space – “Boy meets girl. Girl gets into danger. Boy risks his life to rescue girl. Everyone thinks he died, but he really didn’t. Boy meets girl again – at the marriage altar. They live happily ever after. The end.” It may not be as exciting, but at least you quickly know how the story is going to end.
     If that is the way you like to read books, then Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 is especially for you. Sorry to spoil the ending for you if you like all the details, but King Solomon had made it to the end of a long story. This passage gives a summary of all the points he had been trying to make. Solomon spent most of the time in the story describing the vanity of life, and the futility of living for pleasure, but he came to a plain and simple conclusion – the whole duty of man is to fear God and to obey Him. It is simply stated but not easily practiced. However, if we could just grasp that concept, it would bring us much closer to living the way God expects us to live.
     The Bible is filled with commands for living our lives – obey your parents, seek counsel, love God with all your heart, and hundreds more. It is our duty to know them and obey them, and it is accomplished through the fear of the Lord. Fearing God does not mean we are afraid to move because He has no care for us other than following Him. Fearing God is being afraid of letting Him down after all He has done for us, being afraid of misrepresenting Him to the world, and being afraid of the consequences of disobeying Him. That ought to be our motivation for doing right.
     That is the story in a nutshell. Everything will fall into place and be in line with God’s plans for our lives if we will only fear Him and obey His commands.

Quote of the day: “As he that fears God fears nothing else, so he that sees God sees everything else.”

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