What Does Ecclesiastes 12:13 Mean?

The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person.

Ecclesiastes 12:13(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

Solomon was a man whose life seemed to overflow with the sort of blessings that so many chase after today: fame and fortune, glory and honour, prosperity and power, riches and authority, longevity and foresight, talents and skill, cleverness, aptitude, artistry, and wisdom: "Wine, women, and song."

Solomon was an anointed king of Israel and prophet of God who had been chosen to rule over His people, and who had the privilege of building the Temple of the Lord. Solomon could be described as 'having it all', and yet he was an unfulfilled man because he allowed his apparent success and blessings to turn his heart away from the Lord. Indeed, Jesus Himself reminded us of the futility of gaining all that the world has to offer, while losing ones opportunity to live for the Lord.

Solomon sought to follow his own advice, which was to enjoy life to the full, but he chose to do so for his own self-gratification and to the exclusion of God. And so, Solomon discovered that no matter which area of interest he pursued or what enticing avenues he chose to follow, it resulted in "vanity of vanities," a dissatisfied soul and a "chasing after the wind."

As children of God who have been chosen and called to follow Christ, we too have been given all we need for life and godliness and have access to the riches of His grace. But unless our vertical relationship with our Heavenly Father is founded upon the Lord Jesus Christ, our life becomes futile and our fellowship with Him is broken. And then, no matter what material possessions, intellectual prowess, or popularity we achieve, it is all meaningless.

Solomon was a man chosen by God to be His anointed king, but he fell into the trap of seeking his satisfaction in the wrong cisterns. But although having foolishly spent his precious life and God-given opportunities by chasing after the wind, and having discovered that all that this world has to offer was vain and purposeless, he finally arrived at the one and only satisfactory conclusion: That when all had been been said and done, and everything has been tried and tested, the only fulfilment in life is to "fear God and obey His commands," which should be the duty and joy of all His blood-bought children.

My Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for the Word of God and the wisdom that it contains. Help me to be willing to learn all the lessons it has to offer and not to go chasing after the wind so that I may live my life wisely, to Your praise and glory. Thank You that even though there are times when I stray from Your side and seek after the things of this world, that in Your grace You draw me back into Your loving arms. I pray that my life from this day forward may be a life that is consecrated to You and that my eyes remain fixed upon Jesus, the Author and Finisher of my faith. In Jesus' name I pray, AMEN.

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