S199P20 – Through Solomon’s eyes: follow a single voice

Ecc. 12:13-14

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all.  For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.

Even as an adult, I can still hear the voices of my parents saying the same thing.  I was the kid who needed to learn by experience, who did not want to be told what was best.  Luckily, the decisions I had to make as a child were not normally that critical.  Sometimes, I would stay up later than my parents thought I should, but it would not be until the morning that I would realize they were right.  I would eat too much candy against their advice, and the subsequent stomach ache would prove them right.  To me, their guidance was just a suggestion, but I had to make my own decisions to find my own way.  As I make bad decisions today and then wish I had chosen otherwise, I can hear them say again, you should have listened to us.

I often envision God saying these words and shaking his head toward me as if asking himself what on Earth is wrong with this one.  We can be great fools, stubborn children who just need to listen before acting, but we are children no longer.  Many of our decisions today are actually critical not only to this life but to the next.  God is trying to lead us as we make these choices because they matter.  He directs us and commands us not because He just enjoys being in charge and giving orders but because He knows what is best for us.  His guidance serves to protect us while showing us the true face of this world.  His leadership is love, and He desires that none should perish. 

There are many ways we can rationalize that obedience to God is sensible.  We can use fear and the prospect of hell to convince some.  We can use hope and the prospect of paradise to convince others.  Some are more effectively swayed by simply wanting to do the right thing.  In the end, there is only one supreme reason to obey the Lord.  We obey him just because He is God and deserving of our obedience.  It is not for us to question him, to fight him, or to try to dethrone him.  He is the Almighty, worthy of praise and honor and glory.  We are his handiwork, made for his purposes.  Father, teach us to obey You just because of who You are.