Solomon’s Final Advice
Eccl. 12: 9-14
This is the end of our journey in the Book of Ecclesiastes. Solomon now give his final or ends his letter of advice to us. As we have seen previously, he was the wisest man (1 Kings 3:3-28), and he wants to impart the knowledge and wisdom he accumulated and learned to us. It’s a sad thing that he did not really apply all the truth he knows in his life. He committed idolatry because of his carnality. In the end, he realized that we must fear the Lord and obey his commandment. The last two verses for me is a proof that he repented from his sins and was able to established back his spiritual relationship to God before he died.
I. His on-going work
A. Since the preacher or Solomon is wise he continued to teach others, and to seek for knowledge, truth and righteousness.
1. The word knowledge here can mean perception, skill, or even wisdom.
2. Solomon’s desire is to teach people things that he has learned.
3. Whatever he has learned and taught the people, he did it systematically. He set everything in order.
4. His conclusions also were written in the form of proverbs.
B. Solomon used “acceptable words.”
1. Acceptable words means “pleasing” or “gracious” words (Eccl. 10:12). Such
kinds of words would attract the attention of his listeners and readers.
2. His teachings were clear, simple, direct to the point so that the wise and the simple would understand it.
3. He always used upright words of truth. (Prov. 8:6-11.)
4. Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the King of Kings, combined “grace and truth” (John 1:17; Luke 4:16-32) when he taught the people.
C. He compares his words to goads and nails
1. A goad is a stick or pole with a sharp point which is used to prod oxen or sheep in the direction one wishes them to move. (Acts 9:5)
2. Words of wisdom are called goads because they provoke one to walk in the path of righteousness.
3. His words also served as nails that penetrates easily and securely fix his truth in the minds of his listeners and readers.
4. This collection of sayings actually proceeds from one Shepherd. The Shepherd is none other than God, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The God who is called the “Shepherd of Israel.” (Gen. 48:1, Ps. 23:1; 80:1; Isa. 40:11; Jer. 31:10; Ezek. 34:11-12; Jn. 10:14-16; Heb. 13:20; 1 Pet. 2:25)
5. By telling that his words were from one Shepherd which is God, Solomon is
claiming that his sayings were “inspired”.
6. Inspiration was the special miracle ministry of the Holy Spirit that enabled men of God to write the Word of God as God wanted it written, complete andwithout error (2 Tim 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21).
7. He warns against one searching for truth in books which are not inspired, and that devotion to such an endless number of books is “wearying of the flesh.”
8. While it is true that other books are informative and educational, be warned as Paul wrote to Timothy. (2 Timothy 3:7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth). Apart from the Word of God you will never find the answers you are looking for. So, read your Bible daily.
D. The situation here is that Solomon taught the people right but did not necessarily apply these principles of truth to himself. He did not practice what he preached
II. Fear God
A. I would say that to fear God is the real theme of this book.
1. Fear God or Fear of God is a command and can be defined as that fear,
reverence, awe, and esteem for God’s holiness and power, which results in
careful obedience to God’s will (Gen. 20:11; Deut. 6:2,13,24; Pr. 1:7; 8:13; Ps. 33:8; 34:9; 36:1).
2. To fear God is to glorify and worship Him as the eternal creator (Rev. 14:7).
3. The fear of the Lord as written in the Bible are:
a. The beginning of knowledge (Pr. 1:7);
b. To fear God is to hate evil (Pr. 8:13);
c. The fear of the Lord prolongeth days (Pr. 10:27); is strong confidence (Pr. 14:26); is a fountain of life (Pr. 14:27); is riches and honor and life (Pr. 22:4).
d. The root problem with the wicked is that they do not fear God (Ps. 36:1;
4. God is kind, loving, and merciful, but He is also fearfully holy, being described as
a consuming fire. Godly fear is a proper and wise motivation for salvation and for Christian service.
III. Keep His Commandments
A. There were many commands from God in the Bible but our Lord Jesus Christ just summarized it into two (Mat. 22:37-40), namely:
1. Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
2. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Illustration: Commands helps us love Until a few years ago, there were no laws about child safety seats and automobile restraint systems.
Tragically, many young children were not safely belted in their seats, and they died in car accidents.
Today, though, laws prohibit children from riding in a car without a child seat facing the right direction and properly installed. Even new mothers need to have the seat installed before taking a child home from the hospital.
Of all the expressions of human love, there is probably no more pure and beautiful love than that of a parent for a child. Yet, when a child’s safety is at stake, it seems a parent’s love is not always enough. Parents did not always do what was best for their children. Many parents needed a law or
boundary to ensure that their love for their children did not fall short of perfect love.
God knows the same is true of our love and devotion toward him and other people. He knows our feelings are not enough. We needed laws and boundaries in the form of commands to aid us in loving him and other people fully. (Illustrations for Every Topic and Occasion)
B. For God shall bring every work into judgment – This is the reason why we should
“fear God and keep his commandments.”
1. Because there will be a day of judgment
2. Every soul of man shall stand at the bar.
3. God the infinitely wise, the heart-searching God will be judge.
4. He will bring to light every secret thing – all that has been done since the creation, by all men; whether forgotten or registered; whether done in secret or in public.
5. All the works of the godly, as well as all the works of the wicked, shall be judged in that day; the good and the godly strove to conceal, as well as the evil which the evil endeavoured to hide. (Adam Clark Commentary)
Illustration: Do Your Duty
A clergyman was once asked by the Duke of Wellington, “How are you getting on with the propagation of the gospel abroad? Is there any chance of the Hindus becoming Christians?” To which the clergyman replied, “Oh no! I do not see anything doing there; I see not reason to suspect any work of the kind being successful.” “Well,” said the Duke, “what have you to do with that? What are your marching orders? Are they not ‘Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature’? (Mark 16:15). Do your duty, sir, and never mind results.”
(Practical Bible Illustrations From Yesterday and Today.)
Indeed, we must fear God and keep his commandment for it’s the whole duty of man. For everything that we have done, we will be judged by Christ. Are you ready to give an account with joy in that day? Why not come to Christ? He will be our lawyer and judge on that day of judgment.