The Conclusion of the Matter

‘Here is the conclusion of the matter.’ Ecclesiastes 12:13 NIV

In the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon talks about all the things in life he tried and found to be disappointing: the intellectual pursuit of knowledge, the physical pursuit of pleasure, and the material pursuit of wealth. In the last chapter of Ecclesiastes, he bottom-lines it: ‘Everything is meaningless.’(Ecclesiastes 12:8 NIV)  Now, penning his last divinely-inspired thoughts, he wraps up his life’s message with these words: ‘Here is the conclusion of the matter.’ This is big stuff! Solomon is about to give us his bottom-line evaluation of a life well-lived. What is it? ‘Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. For God will bring every deed into judgment.’ (Ecclesiastes 12:13–14 NIV) The words ‘fear God’simply means to reverence, love, and serve Him, and live your life according to the precepts laid down in His Word. The songwriter put it this way: ‘Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.’ Author John Mason writes: ‘Is more money, a higher position, or more influence your goal? These are not goals; they are the by-product of true goals… Seek not the success, but truth, and you will find both. Work to become, not acquire. Measure wealth by the things you have which you would not exchange for money.’ When you wake each morning, pray this simple prayer: ‘Lord, above all else, help me to spend this day loving You and carrying out Your will. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.’