THE WHOLE DUTY OF MAN

Ecclesiastes 12:13

13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

Solomon was a wise King; he was a man gifted with wisdom from God. A man who enjoyed life to the fullest. Solomon wrote about variety of things and issues including birds, plants, animals, you name it. This man was blessed with wisdom.

In the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon gives a picture of life and how meaningless it is. He goes from talking about vanity, to emptiness of life, he talks about drinking, feasting, enjoying labour and seeking God, yet he concludes the book of Ecclesiastes with this most interesting statement:

13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

In conclusion Solomon realises despite his success, wisdom, his gifting and the women, that the whole duty of man is to fear God. This is man’s obligation.

There are two sides to fear. There is the negative fear which is ungodly and there is the godly fear which is the fear of the Lord.

The fear of the Lord is the reverence for God, for who He is, for His power, His person and respect for His wrath and anger.

The biggest challenge today for most Christians is not the lack of the knowledge of a loving God. What we lack is the fear or reverence for this loving God.

Solomon knew that he could not get away with his disobedience to God and I believe on reflection he realised that even though God was a loving father and a covenant keeper, He still deserved to be respected and reverenced.

To fear the lord is to give all the honour due to Him and keep His words with all diligence, that is the whole duty of man.

Moses says to the Israelites in Deuteronomy 6:2

2 that you may fear the Lord your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, you and your son and your grandson, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged.

God expects us and our entire household to reverence Him, not just now but always.

To fear Him is what God requires from His children, Moses goes on to tell us this again in the book of Deuteronomy 10:12

12 “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul,

Jesus tells us in the book of Matthew 10:28 to fear God rather than man. He addresses negative fear contrasting it with the fear of God. He says

28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

What is interesting about what Jesus has said is the fact that Jesus has used the adjective word “AFRAID” and not the noun “FEAR”

Afraid can be used to express regret or concern. When I was young and I disobeyed my dad, I was afraid to approach him because I regretted and was concerned about my action. Adam used this same word when God was looking for him.

Genesis 3:10

“And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.”

This was an expression of regret.

Jesus, I believe was saying in Matthew, your biggest concern should not be about man but about God, because man can only deal with the physical but God has the power to destroy the soul and body.

The Hebrew writer also alludes to this in Hebrews 12:9

9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

Our earthly fathers corrected and chastised us, yet we reverenced them and the Hebrew writer now asks the questions, what about God, shouldn’t we reverence Him and live.

The fear of God comes with benefits.

Do you lack confidence? If you fear of the Lord, He will instil you with confidence, for every occasion. Proverbs 14:26

26 In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.

The fear of the Lord, protects you from the snares of the devil and sees you through any difficulty in a way that honours God. Proverbs 14:27

27 The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.

Do you lack wisdom, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom?

Proverbs 9:10

10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

Psalm 111:10

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;

A good understanding have all those who do His commandments;

His praise endures forever.

Do you want to see your life extended, fear God? Proverbs 9:11

11 For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased.

Proverbs 10:27

The fear of the Lord prolongs life,

But the years of the wicked will be shortened.

In conclusion we are required to reverence God above everything else.  Deuteronomy 10:12

12 “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul,

Dear believers we are expected to honour, reverence and love God and keep His commands, serve Him. This is the whole duty of man.

Contact Details

  • ADDRESS:
    Rehoboth Building
    72A Mayeswood Road
    Grove Park
    London SE12 9RP
  • EMAIL: info@wordoflife-lcc.org
  • TEL: + 44 (0)208 857 7406 /
    07930 958 097