The conclusion, when all has been heard: fear God and keep His commandments, because this [applies to] every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.
The conclusion to what is one of the more depressing books ever written and to Solomon’s examination of life and death; wisdom and foolishness is that I should fear God and keep His commandments. This conclusion is reached after informing the reader multiple times that everything is vanity; futility; meaningless.
I find myself wanting to find some way to dig into these verses and pull out something deep and hidden, but they are pretty self-explanatory.
Fear God. I am brought back to this concept over and over again and wonder if it is because I do not rightly fear God or if I just need to be reminded to fear Him as I once feared my parents.
Keep His commandments. Pretty straightforward, this. In the final estimation, obedience is vital. Jesus would later say that we are His friends if we do as He has commanded us. Jesus would also boil down all of the commandments to two: Love God and love your neighbor. Not easy to do, but easy to remember.
For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil. Christians believe that there are two different judgments coming; one for the lives lived without the blood of Jesus Christ over them and one for those lived washed in Christ’s blood. One judgment will be a reiteration of everything done wrong. One will be a remembrance of everything done in service to and out of love for God. This verse is a reminder to me that nothing I do is overlooked by God. He sees everything I do — good and bad — and He will bring it all out into the open. I should try to live in such a way that having my deeds and thoughts brought into the open will not be an embarrassment.
Fear God. Obey God. And remember that everything will be brought out into the open for inspection in the end.