The Whole Duty of Man

Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going? Every person born into this world asks these questions of themselves in their lifetime. The wisest man who ever lived pondered the meaning of life and shares with those who read his words in the Book of Ecclesiastes, ”Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter.”

King Solomon had it all: fame, fortune, family. He was the ruler of a vast kingdom stretching from the Euphrates River in the east to the land of Egypt in the west. Kings and queens came to him from near and far bearing gifts, seeking peace, and desiring to hear his counsel. He enjoyed every perk in life, from houses and land, to entertainment and possessions galore. He had experienced it all, enjoyed it all, possessed it all but in the end found it lacking when assessing the meaning of his life against all the world had offered him. He summed up the conclusion of the whole matter by writing in just six words what is most important in life.

In the end, when all was said and done, Solomon penned these words that have echoed down through millennia, “The conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments:  for this is the whole duty of man.” Since the opening chapters of Genesis man has been admonished by God Himself to reverence the Lord God and obey His commands found written throughout His Word, promising when one does He will bring blessing upon them. Solomon finished his wise counsel for the reason all should heed God’s instruction, “For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil,” (12:13-14).

“Remember now thy Creator

In the days of thy youth,

While the evil days come not,

Nor the years draw nigh.”

(Ecclesiastes 12:1)

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