"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."
Morning Mediation: Read - Ecclesiastes 12:1-14
As we come to the closing chapter of our journey, we find that the poor wanderer ("Qoheleth") has come home and found all that he had been searching for in his Father's house. Though rich as any man could possibly be, and blessed with wisdom beyond measure to instruct in all manner of life, Solomon struggled to instruct his own heart. He spent a lifetime searching for the meaning of life, and after he had emptied himself of his need to find meaning, and found life to be empty of meaning, he discovered that there was only One who could fill him and give true meaning and purpose to his life.
"In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust in your strength" (Isaiah 30:15). The penitent Preacher had found the entrance to the Father's house to be full of hooks,
"well-driven nails, given by one Shepherd," to hang every one of life's questions and concerns on.
"The entrance to Your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple" (Psalm 119:130). Solomon had come home to discover a vast library of knowledge and wisdom had been opened up to satiate his repentant and hungry heart.
"I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen." (John 21:25b). He found the answer to his soul's hunger, only after he was emptied of all the unsatisfying substitutes that could never satiate a heart made for eternity. It was there he found life's meaning - the conclusion of the whole matter:
"Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man's all" (Ecclesiastes 12:13).
The remedy to the vanity of life, is simple: loving reverence and obedience to the Father who has given us life as His gift. Truly
"He who is mighty has done great things for me...and filled the hungry with good things" (Luke 1:53a). As we offer up a prayer of gratitude for the soul-satisfying portion the Lord has placed on our plate these past twelve days to prepare us for the next twelve months, let us remember what we have learned about the frailty of human life and the vanity of life lived without God, as we join our hearts in prayer with all those marching for life today, who are standing in the gap to give a voice to the voiceless and the most innocent among us. As we continue to yield to our Sovereign's rule in His divine government within our hearts, walking this year ahead in the fear of the Lord and in obedience to His commandments,
"let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name" (Hebrews 13:15).
"Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God. So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Oh satisfy us early with Your mercy, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days! And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands for us; yes, establish the work of our hands" (Psalm 90:1-2, 12, 14, 17).
"Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good;
blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
Oh, fear the LORD, you His saints!
There is no want to those who fear Him.
The young lions lack and suffer hunger;
but those who seek the LORD
shall not lack any good thing."
The banqueting table has been prepared
with a spiritual feast to satisfy the soul's hunger
every month of this Year of the Divine Government.
Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters...
our next journey begins on February 1st!
"The LORD bless you and keep you;
the LORD make His face shine upon you,
and be gracious to you;
the LORD lift up His countenance upon you,
and give you peace."
to the Afternoon Teaching Devotion and the Evening Prayer Audio by clicking on the links in the boxes below: