"Fear God" Is Faith in Jesus
"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)
Ecclesiastes was written by the world’s wisest man ever to be born sinful and to live forever, King Solomon (I should add, not through merit of his own). He begins this writing addressing himself as the “Preacher.”
As we reflect this season on the first advent or coming of Jesus, while anticipating His second advent, these words are a reality check. The Preacher writes regarding the end of the matter. The bottom line of his book is to “Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.”
To understand this, you need to know what this writing is about. This book is filled with real-life emotions, the ups and downs of living in a fallen, sin-filled world. There is a time for everything, a time to be born or die; to plant or uproot; to kill or heal; to tear down or build up; to weep or laugh, to mourn or dance; to embrace or refrain; to search or give up; to be silent or speak; to love or hate; for war or peace. Welcome to my world, as the expression goes!
However, the Preacher is not exhorting us to attempt to earn our pardon on Judgment Day. No, he preaches that we are to fear, love and trust in God alone. Yes, to trust in God who justifies, or declares not guilty, all those who believe in Jesus, the wisest man ever to be born holy and to die bearing the sin of the whole human race.
God knows all too well the mess that mankind has made for ourselves, yet, He still cares. He cares enough to have sent His only Son, Jesus as Savior. Our human tragedies that this book speaks about are covered by the blood of the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. His righteous acts are now reckoned as our righteous acts through faith in Him. Faith in Jesus comes through the gift of His Spirit who moves us to serve God while serving others.
Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Son’s first coming to cover us born sinners with His sacrificial blood, and thank You that we can look forward with longing for His second coming and the promise of life everlasting free from sin, death and the power of the devil. Amen.
- Pastor Ricky Jacob, Jesus Our Savior Lutheran Church, Winnebago, Nebraska