The Voice of the Lord

Here is the final conclusion, now that you have heard everything: fear God, and keep his mitzvot [commandments]; this is what being human is all about (Ecclesiastes 12:13).

The renowned medieval rabbi Moses Maimonides (the Rambam), wrote in his Guide to the Perplexed that King Shlomo (Solomon) not only knew every one of God's commandments by heart, he also knew the divine reason behind each one. Yet, King Solomon's wisdom deserted him at a critical point in his life. He had built everything, tasted everything, drunk everything, and had married over 700 women! Yet, what he concluded was most important is summarized in the verse above.

Given the chance to go back and do it over again, Shlomo would not have violated the commandments of God, even knowing that God's grace would meet him later in his repentance. In Ecclesiastes, we sense that we are listening to a man with one driving compulsion: to convey this message to succeeding generations, "It is not worth it."

Shlomo emphatically warns us to embrace eternal values, even when we are young, when eternity seems far away. This warning is his most lasting legacy, enduring beyond his spectacular Temple, which lay in ruins only four centuries after it was built—many centuries before Messiah came to walk among us.

The thought expressed at Shlomo's most lucid moment is the message we must share with our own generation. Yeshua himself commissioned us to share this truth, calling us to declare God's eternal Kingdom (Matthew 10:7) to a pleasure-seeking world unaware of the eternal bottom line. to grow as a model of eternity-minded living and to share with others King Solomon's final conclusion as explained in today's verse.


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The Voice of the Lord, Copyright 1998 by the Lewis and Harriet Lederer Foundation, Inc. Published by Messianic Jewish Publishers, Distributed by Messianic Jewish Resources, All rights reserved. Used by permission. No part of this article may be reproduced in print or on the web, or transmitted in any form, without the written permission of the publisher.