If you accept the Bible for what it is—God’s inspired, inerrant Word representing absolute truth and our final authority in all matters, then Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived. Over the years, I have carefully studied his life; the things he said, trying to tap into his wisdom.
As a man, like all men, Solomon made many mistakes in his life and gave into the temptations of this sinful world on many occasions. It doesn’t make me feel any better, but it does help when I make mistakes to know that even the wisest man who ever lived also made many mistakes during his life.
I have torn apart the book of Ecclesiastes many times and have spent countless hours reading Solomon’s summation of this life. In looking back over his life, having had all that anyone who lives in this world could ever want, the word that Solomon used over and over was “meaningless.”
As he looked back, he realized that in the end all of the temporal things of this world were exactly that, meaningless. It is, actually, a pretty negative book until you get to the next to last verse. As only the wisest man who ever lived could, in 6 words Solomon summed up what this life is all about, “Fear God and Keep His Commandments.”
This may sound like an oversimplification, but it really isn’t. The Hebrew word for fear is not the type of fear you have when you are afraid, but literally means to be in awe, in reverence. That should always be our attitude toward God, awe and reverence. Keeping His commandments refers to obeying the Word of God. My friends, if we can do this throughout our lives, fear God and keep His commandments, we have found the key to what this life is really all about since this is the whole duty of man.
You see, this world honors those who lead great armies into war, rule empires and nations; those who have amassed tremendous wealth; people who are responsible for accomplishing incredible feats during their lives. But all of these great accomplishments are only temporary. The truly great accomplishments in this life are the things we do that will stand for eternity.
Sharing the truth of God’s Word with people, leading the lost to an everlasting relationship with Jesus Christ, helping those who know Christ become all God wants them to be. These are things the world will never see, but God will remember. Solomon at the end of his long, successful, and distinguished life on this earth summed it all up by saying that the whole duty of man is to fear God and keep His commandments.
I tell you often to stay focused on the things above as opposed to the things of this life. I pray, today, that you will take a long hard look at your goals and priorities, and make fearing God and keeping His commandments number one. Our purpose in this life is to serve and glorify God. If fearing Him and keeping His commandments is how to fulfill His purpose for our life, then that must be our top priority each day.
I pray, today, that you will listen to the wisdom of Solomon and that each day the most important thing in your life will be to “fear God and keep His commandments.” That, my friend, is the whole duty of Man and the bottom line to what this life is all about.