“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” Ecclesiastes 12.13
The instructions are clear: “Fear God, and keep his commandments:” For the child of God what does life look like when we “fear God“? I’m convinced that the focus of our lives changes. Instead of always looking for ways to satisfy ourselves, we begin asking God, “What is it you want from me today?” His answer is “everything”; He wants all of us.
In addition to our focus changing, our very purpose for living changes. Solomon reminds us in this verse:“keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” If my “whole duty” is to keep His commandments, then I must go to the place where those commandments are given. When we think of commandments, our minds turn to Exodus 20 and the Ten Commandments given by God to Moses. But for us, we are not under the Law, but under grace. We must still give attention to what God says is important for us. The principles found in the Ten Commandments are certainly Godly instruction for us.
In the New Testament some additional commandments are given. For example, John 13.34: “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” This commandment is repeated a number of times in the New Testament. Ephesians 6.2 says: “Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)” Here is an Old Testament commandment repeated for us in the New Testament.
Here is Solomon’s final word for us: “for this is the whole duty of man.” This is not simply a “suggestion,” it is the whole duty of man. When we hear the word “duty” some people respond with, “No body is going to tell ME what to do.” But look at the chain of command here. God gave the commandment to Moses. Paul restated the principle in the New Testament. God has a right to tell His children how to live.
Let’s re-examine our focus and our purpose in life and see if we need to make any adjustments. Turn to God’s Word, seek His face, and listen to His Holy Spirit. If we do these things, we will not fail to do “the whole duty of man.” Just my thoughts …