Tom Ascol | Fear God and Keep His Commandments - Ecclesiastes 12:9-14

November 27, 2022 00:44:37
Tom Ascol | Fear God and Keep His Commandments - Ecclesiastes 12:9-14
Sermons by Founders Ministries
Tom Ascol | Fear God and Keep His Commandments - Ecclesiastes 12:9-14

Nov 27 2022 | 00:44:37

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Show Notes

Pastor Tom Ascol concludes his series on Ecclesiastes with a message entitled “Fear God and Keep His Commandments” centered on Ecclesiastes 12:9 – 14. Ecclesiastes was written as a result of Solomon’s focused attention on making sense of the world. Throughout, he has reflected on finding meaning in work, pleasure, wisdom, and wealth. Vanity of vanities is his finding if there is no god. Solomon, in this the book’s conclusion, finds the reality of God’s existence leads to man’s duty: fear God and keep His commands.

To this point the Preacher has taught us carefully. The clarity of thought emanates from his wisdom. The cleverness with which he communicates truth stems from the best way to express the truths he presents. Clarity and cleverness are important but even more so is accuracy; the Preacher does not mince words but comments on life as it really is. The two similes he uses, that of a goad to keep animals moving in the correct way, a tool which hurts but does not injure, and firmly fixed nails, which provide stability to a structure, illustrate the effectiveness of his teaching. These words of wisdom both spur our actions and anchor our thoughts. We should not be surprised since these words, according to v. 11, comes from the Shepherd, God.

God’s Word is not merely good advice. Instead, they are teaching breathed out by God Himself instructing us in the way of a righteous life. Anything outside Scripture, outside God’s Word (v. 12’s “the making of many books”) should be viewed in light of Scripture. Books are not necessarily bad. Nevertheless, discernment requires insuring books comport with the truths of God’s Word. Ecclesiastes, like the rest of the Bible guides us to think and act rightly. The Preacher’s conclusion then is to fear God and obey His commandments.

Six times to this point the author has told us to fear God. This is not a slavish terror but a sober reverence. It is an attitude, a disposition that speaks of humility before the Creator. This Creator has given us commandments, all of which are for our own good yet we disobey. Despite obvious disobedience, the Preacher teaches us obedience, to orient our lives around God and how He would have us live. This, the “whole duty of man” is that for which we were created. As Augustine rightly wrote, “Thou hast made us for Thyself and our hearts are restless until they come to rest in thee.”

The closing verse speaks of a coming day of judgment, a day just as sure to come as is today. If there were no God, there would be no judgment. If there were no judgment, all indeed would be “vanity of vanities.” There is, however, God and a coming judgment. The great question for each individual is “What will you do on that day?” Will you stand before the Judge without an advocate pleading on your behalf or will you trust Jesus today so, even now as well as then, He will advocate on your behalf?

This sermon was given by Dr. Tom Ascol on February 26, 2017 at Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, FL.

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