FEAR God and KEEP His COMMANDMENTS ALWAYS
July 12 Bible Reading: Ecclesiastes Chapters 10-12
"Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man's all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil." (Eccl. 12:13-14)
King Solomon closes this book by stating that there is a God who will hold us accountable for our lives (3:17; 8:12, 13; 11:9) as our lives “under the sun” (1:3) will be judged from a heavenly perspective. The motive for fearing and obeying God is the certainty of coming judgment!
While the wisdom literature (Job, Psalms, Proverbs and Ecclesiastes) counsels us for loyal submission to the rule of God (5:7; Job 28:28; Prov. 1:7; 9:10), the book of Ecclesiastes has God’s judgment of thoughts and deeds as its dominant theme (3:17; 8:12, 13; 11:9; 12:14).The beginning of wisdom is the fear of God (Prov. 1:7; Eccl. 12:13), a deep respect for and commitment to the ways and words of God. Godly fear ultimately leads to fulfillment in life!
To fear God is to respond to Him in awe, reverence, and wonder, to serve Him in purity of action, and to reject evil and any worship of anything else in His universe. This will result in our submission to God and to His “commandments”, which Jesus summed as to “love the Lord your God” and “your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:34–40). Humans are religious and moral beings who find their fulfillment in God’s teachings that lead to a loving relationship with Him.
Knowing that God will judge one day motivates us to obey His commandments now. On that day God will judge the secrets of men (Rom. 2:16), bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and make manifest the counsels of every heart (I Cor 4:5). "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad" (2 Cor 5:10).
So, our lives must be lived through faith with the values of the eternal God in view as we fear God in our thoughts and action. We can fear God either in a negative or positive way. To fear God is a negative way is to worry about the consequences and from the knowledge that nothing can be hidden from God (Heb. 11:7). To fear God is a positive way is to revere God as we understand His greatness and love for us. When we fear God either way, we need not fear anything else as our future is secure in God alone.