The end of 2017 is just a few days away… Those in business will be concerned about “the bottom line” in sales, in profits, and the health, or lack of it, in their business enterprise.
The writer of Ecclesiastes in the Bible (Solomon or “Qoheleth”) was on a similar quest regarding what made sense (or lack of it – “vanity”) “under the sun” (i.e. wisdom… “this side of heaven”). He tried everything… He thought long and hard… He examined everything…
This is the way he put it… “The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man! For God will bring every deed into judgment with every secret thing, whether good or evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 ESV)
The “end of the matter” or “the bottom line”? He came to the conclusion only two things ultimately matter (or maybe three)…
First of all… “Fear God” (or REVERENCE Him) And I would argue that is best expressed in a love relationship between the Creator and His creation.
Secondly, “Keep His commandments” – OBEDIENCE is pretty big in Scripture! Obedience is best fulfilled however when it flows from love and is expressed through faith.
Oh and the third one… We all need God’s help – we fail, we fall, we sometimes err and disobey… We can’t make it without FORGIVENESS. We’ve got to remember that without God’s forgiveness “God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.” But “If we confess (acknowledge) our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness!” (1 John 1:9
Hey Solomon (or “Qoheleth”) … I think you’re on to something there! Just three things – three really important things!