“The words of the wise are like goads, and the words of scholars are like well-driven nails, given by one Shepherd. And further, my son, be admonished by these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is wearisome to the flesh. Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, Including every secret thing, Whether good or evil.”
Ecclesiastes 12:11-14 NKJV
The end of the matter
Just finished reading Ecclesiastes, the work of Solomon, son of David. He sought the wisdom of the Lord as his soul desire, so the Lord gave him everything else. There was no pleasure or delight that was held from him. Through the wisdom of God, Solomon came to the conclusion that there was truly nothing new under the sun.
““Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher; “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.” What profit has a man from all his labor In which he toils under the sun?”
Ecclesiastes 1:2-3 NKJV
The pursuit of pleasure is a venture in emptiness, as it is an endless pursuit offering no satisfaction, and only the promise of diminishing returns. I remember my days before I became a follower of Jesus, pursuing anything that would soften the blow of mortality, that would make me feel something other than the emptiness.
The first time experiences were amazing, but each successive was less so, causing me to push the envelop more and more in search of that “perfect high,” or experiences that would take me from the valley to the mountaintop. I only found myself deeper in the valley.
Like Solomon, I fed my head with information, seeking to know what was going on in the world, for understanding of all the causal links that drive every aspect of our world. I remember coming to a point where I realized that it is often better to not know. Understanding the workings of humanity can be filled with great sorrow, for one comes to know that we are doomed.
“And I set my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is grasping for the wind. For in much wisdom is much grief, And he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.”
Ecclesiastes 1:17-18 NKJV
When I came to know Jesus, I laid aside all that I had learned previously, opting to approach the Lord with a blank slate. I knew instinctively that I needed to come to Him as a new born babe, desiring the pure milk of the word. One cannot bring the convention of the world to the table and expect to hear from God.
I had been a failure in this world, for I had never fit in, and in this new world, inhabited by the word, I found myself subservient to One greater than me, and finding greater, long lasting joy, far beyond any peak experience I ever had.
Over the years, I have yet to have that great and perfect high, for each moment with the Lord has surpassed the last. The Lord is so overwhelming and powerful. In His word, He has revealed truths time and time again. Even as In read the same passages repeatedly, He never ceases to surprise me, as I find something new that I had never seen before.
The wisdom of God is everything, and seeking His will and keeping His commandments is truly the end of the matter. For those who live in the world, they are still pursuing pleasure and finding none, and they are finding only emptiness.
“Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all. “
Brothers and sisters, let us be mindful that the pursuits that take us way from God will never lead to anything fruitful. All they do is lead not bad days, filled with regret and lost opportunities. For those who are engaged in dangerous pursuits, the consequences can be most grievous.
Let us see the Lord in these times, for those around us are heading toward the abyss and breakneck speed. Let us not only cling to the Lord, but let us also reach out to those among us, endeavoring to tell them about Jesus.
The Lord is the answer to every problem, and there is no solution in this world that is rapidly passing away.
“Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
Psalms 73:25-26 NKJV
My people, He is our portion forever, and the only hope we have. Let us be faithful to look to Him in these coming dire days.
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