Why Fear God?

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

Some say that this conclusion only makes sense if the speaker has been transformed or is someone completely new.

Others say that this is simply the final conclusion of the Teacher’s hard, unblinking look at life. They say that though this book asks the difficult questions and is often cynical, it also shows sparks of faith. Indeed, this is not the first time we are urged to fear God (see Ecclesiastes 8:12-13). Now, however, faith is clearly favored over doubt.

Some think this conclusion was written by a wise man or editor other than the Teacher. They suggest he uses the writings of the Teacher primarily to demonstrate how futile they were. His intent, then, is to teach his son (or disciple: “My son” was a conventional way for a teacher to speak to his student, see Ecclesiastes 12:12) the better way—to fear God (see Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).

Either way, the doctrine of the Old Testament is summarized in a few short phrases. The reader is urged (1) to have a right relationship with God (“fear God”); (2) to maintain that relationship by following the law (“keep his commandments”); and (3) to anticipate a final and future judgment (“God will bring every deed into judgment”).

Published by Intentional Faith

Devoted to a Faith that Thinks

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