I hope the last four installments of our bible study have helped you get a fresh insight into this often misunderstood and misquoted book! We come now to the final installment, and I just want to tie some thoughts together.
The wisdom of Ecclesiastes can be hard to take, it can be painful. But this book has not been written so that we lose hope but it has been written so that we trust that life has meaning even when we cannot make sense of it so that we have HOPE!
To conclude, the author likens the teacher’s words to a shepherd’s staff, a pointed stick: ‘the words of the wise are like goads’ (12:11). A goad is also defined as something that provokes us to act because as these words poke us, they direct us in the right direction to greater wisdom.
The author also warns us not to take the words of Ecclesiastes too far and spend all our time in books trying to solve the mysteries of life: ‘Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body’ (12:12)
So it is written: ‘Fear God and his commandments for this is the duty of all mankind. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil’ (12:13-14)
Life is out of our control BUT we have the hope of God’s judgment. The hope that one day God will clear away all of the hevel and meaninglessness and bring true justice to our world. So we live honest lives, we fear God, we keep His commandments and we trust Him to bring meaning and justice.
We have hope.
OVER TO YOU:
- What does it look like for you to ‘Fear God’?
- What commandments are you ignoring at the moment?
- How can you live with honesty and integrity, despite life seeming out of your control?