Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep 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. Ecclesiastes 12:13-14
Solomon, the writer of these words, had everything ... and nothing at the same time. The book of Ecclesiastes is a reflective journal of his personal search for meaning and purpose. Like many before and after him, Solomon's pursuit led him on a quest for all the wrong things in all the wrong places.
Solomon's journey was paved with gold. He was the wealthiest man who ever lived. Yet all his money could not fill the hole in his heart. Solomon was born a king. Yet his personal power left an empty taste in his mouth. Solomon's pursuit led him down the path of unbridled sexual pleasure. Yet the warm bodies of the most beautiful women left his emotions cold. After exploring all the dead-end trails, he could only conclude the following: "Meaningless! Meaningless! Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless." Solomon's life seemed to be overflowing, but his soul was bone dry. Thirty-five times in his writings he describes his life efforts as "meaningless."
After living an ostentatious life, Solomon comes to a simple conclusion: Fear God (live a life of worship), keep His commandments (He knows what He's talking about), and don't forget the judgment (one day we will give an account before God). It's a shame Solomon did not start with that conclusion. Thank God, we can.
Father, Your Word is given for our instruction. Help us learn from Solomon. May we fear You, follow You and live with an eternal perspective. Remind us that we will give an account. Help us live with that in mind. In Jesus' name. Amen.