Nothing New under the Sun #10. “Fear God and keep His commandments.”

Nothing New under the Sun #10. “Fear God and keep His commandments.”

If you are looking for a great gift containing a great Biblical message, then find something with these wise words from King Solomon:

“The conclusion, when everything has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person” (Ecclesiastes 12:13).

This thirteenth verse of the last chapter of the Book of Ecclesiastes makes for a good sermon and an even better Scripture Verse Wall Plaque. But when isolated from the context of Solomon’s treatise on “Life under the Sun,” it will lose much of its intended impact.

Solomon’s insistence that all things are ultimately “meaningless” in this life makes for depressing reading if not understood properly. If his use of the term “under the sun” is taken to include a relationship with God, the reader will be left in a state of confused hopelessness. On one hand he deals fairly with the joys and struggles of this world, but on the other hand, he deems everything “meaningless” if that is all there is to life.

It is apparent that Solomon is looking back on a life lived in excess without God. His is not just a cautionary tale to be taken or left according to whim. His is a simple message: Unless a man walks with God, his sojourn on this earth is futile.

However, Solomon adds a “Part 2” to his conclusion. He says, “For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:14).

When striving to “fear God and keep His commandments,” we search out the motives and intentions of our hearts. For it is better that we expose everything to the Light for the sake of repentance and restoration now, than to remain in sin and be condemned later.

“But if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).

John Staiger


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