Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
The Book of Ecclesiastes resembles that of Job — its aim is not disclosed till it ends. It might be called the Book of Awakening and Renunciation. If we look at life from a mere earthly point of view it is not worth living. All is vanity; what's the use? As the book closes it reveals the true philosophy of life.
I. THE FEAR OF GOD. This includes a variety of feelings.
1. Reverence. This may be viewed as threefold, according to Goethe's profound view of education — reverence for what is above us, reverence for our equals, and reverence for what is below us.
2. The fear of offending God by doing what is sinful.
3. This fear, which springs from reverence, has in it no torment, and is closely allied to hope.
II. THE OBEDIENCE OF GOD. To keep His commandments includes the whole duty of man; or this is every man's duty. The tree of duty supports many branches.
1. Our duty to God.
2. Our duty to ourselves.
3. Our duty to others.
III. SOME REASONS.
1. Our whole life shall be judged.
2. Every secret thing in the whole of life shall be revealed in the judgment, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
(L. O. Thompson.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.