Our last reading in Ecclesiastes – Eccl 12:9-14
v9: King Solomon pondered…sought out and…set in order: He weighed things up properly, he heard, he listened, he investigated things, he wrote things down (He wrote Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs) so that he could impart wisdom to his people – many principles that we can base our lives upon.
v10: Acceptable words: Words of delight, words of pleasure that would impart truth to those who read or heard them.
- Upright – words of truth: If we want knowledge, if we want wisdom, we’re going to want words that are upright, words that are based upon truth (the Word of G-d).
v11: Goads: Words of wisdom are like a prod – a kind of stick that has a sharp ending on it. To go against a goad is to experience more pain. A cattle prod steers cattle in the right direction. This is what difficult times and hardships should do in our lives – they should steer us in the right direction. Wise people will not wait for difficult times – we can use wisdom and truth as our prod.
- Like well driven nails: Same concept as above.
- One Shepherd: The great, wise Shepherd – G-d (Ps 23). The wise things that Solomon learnt could not be learnt through human intellect, but through divine revelation.
v12: And further: Solomon is now drawing to a conclusion and is giving us a summary statement.
- Be admonished: Beware. Be cautious. Are we spiritually cautious when we have to make a decision?
- Of making many books there is no end: The more we learn, the more we realize that there’s more to be learnt.
- Much study is wearisome: Studying in the physical is going to wear us out.
v13: The conclusion: Everything that Solomon learnt and has taught us in this book has led him to conclude that there is only one way that we can live that will not lead to futility (only one way that we can live a life of significance)…to fear G-d and to keep His commandments. Only a believer who has the Holy Spirit living in him/her can live in this way:
- Fear G-d: Give Him priority in everything that we say and do in our lives. We need to put G-d first (submit to His authority) in every aspect of our lives.
- Keep His commandments: This is how we practically demonstrate the fear of G-d. Every time we keep a commandment it is going to be an instrument for better understanding how to implement G-d’s Word (His will) into our lives. Obedience produces revelation. This greater revelation will make us better able to obey G-d in greater things.
v14: G-d will bring every (good and evil) work (deed, thought, action etc) into judgment: We need to be wise enough and humble enough to receive the gospel. When we are IN Messiah all the evil things we have done will be wiped away and only the good will remain for this judgment. These good things are going to be instruments of blessing and fulfilment for us eternally (there are going to be those who are considered least and those who are going to be considered great in the Kingdom. Some will have a lot of reward eternally and some will enter the Kingdom with very little to show for their lives on earth – 1 Cor 3:9-15). May we be those who wisely and obediently apply G-d’s truth to our lives for the time remaining to us.