“Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.” Ecclesiastes 12:13
The author of Ecclesiastes uses a character, called the Teacher, to share what he has learned from life. The Teacher speaks of his experiences seeking wisdom, pleasure, riches, and advancement. The culmination of his experience and knowledge was that in the end, these things did not matter; they were meaningless. They did nothing to fulfill him. At best, they gave him a fleeting moment of satisfaction. The author concludes with today’s verse. In the end, what is essential is to honor and respect God and to live righteously.
How pertinent this message is for today. With so many people seeking happiness, meaning, and escape in all the wrong places. We become workaholics in search of wealth. We chase after pleasure, becoming addicts of alcohol, drugs, gambling, and sex. We bury ourselves in books and learning in our quest for knowledge. We chase after advancement to glorify ourselves. In this, we find no substance or meaning! Effort spent, running from God instead of to God, who can fill the void we are seeking.
Lord, we pay honor and respect to you. We repent for those many times we seek things to fill the voids in our lives, looking in the wrong places and turning to the wrong things. Forgive us, we pray. God, please help us remember that those things have no substance, they are fleeting moments of gratification, but in you, we can find permanency. It is only through you that we can find meaning for our lives. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.