"Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil." Ecc, 12:13-14
Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived. But wisdom does not always mean application. Although he knew what was right, he has not always obedient and he wandered away from God. He disobeyed God's rules for kings and as a result his wives were able to steer him away from the true path. While we have no record of human sacrifice in Israel during the time of Solomon, he opened that door and later kings pursued the gods Solomon allowed to be introduced to the depth of offering their children to the gods. [Of course, we have advanced and we offer our children as human sacrifices before they are born and call it nice things like abortion.]
In any case, the book of Ecclesiastes records some of Solomon's journey and frustration. Yet here at the end we see he returned to God and a true understanding.
It is a testimony of God's grace when a person, like Daniel, can take a straight road through life. They come to know God at an early age and, although not perfect, they maintain their commitment to God until the very end.
Many of us, though, are like Solomon. We start out well, but then we get distracted with life. It may family or work or illness or even prosperity. We lose sight of our original vision. We wander down wrong paths. We get involved with the wrong people. We turn our backs on God, although we may continue to pay Him lip service.
Still God does not abandon us. The Holy Spirit is still at work in our lives leading us back to the right path. The School Of Hard Knocks hurts, but it is the faithful wounds of a friend for our benefit. We may lose years and do much harm to ourselves and others, but God never loses His grip on one of His children.
We need to learn the lesson of Solomon - there is only frustration and hopelessness outside of our relationship with Jesus - and follow the example of Daniel. Nevertheless, if we find we have wandered from the true path, we need not lose any more time in regret and condemnation. We need to return to God immediately, seek the forgiveness of Jesus and begin our journey again.
We cannot change the past. We cannot live in the past. We should try to undo any damage that we can, but we must move on. We must start from where we are and go forward. We must give ourselves 100% to God from where we are and allow Him to take us to where He wants us to be.
As Solomon said above, God will bring all things into judgment. The good news is that when we come to Christ, He has already paid the price for our sin. If we think that gives us a license to sin without consequences then we have understood neither the grace of God or the nature of reality. In fact, if that is our attitude, we should examine ourselves to see if we really are Christians.
Notice also that this is the duty of all mankind. It is not just Christians who are to obey the law of God. God is the Creator of all and requires obedience of all. God's Law is the Standard by which ALL people will be judged. For all outside of Christ there is only one possible verdict. We need to spread the Good News: Jesus is Lord and Saviour.
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