What is the Conclusion of the Whole Matter?

King Solomon

King Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived, because he asked wisdom of God and God gave it to him.

Solomon became king in Israel after the death of his father, David. God appeared to Solomon and asked this question, “What shall I give you?” (1 Kings 3:5). Solomon could have asked for riches, power or the defeat of his enemies; but instead he asked for wisdom that he might be able to help his people (verse 9). God then blessed him with wisdom and understanding beyond what any person had ever had before (verses 10-12).

Because he asked for wisdom instead of riches, God also gave him riches and honor:

1 Kings 3:12-13 Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. 13 And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days.

Later in his life Solomon wrote the book of Ecclesiastes, a book I find to be humbling in many ways.

Most people look to Proverbs for Solomon's wisdom, but Ecclesiastes contains such a deep understanding of the folly of man's ways.

Solomon, in his God-given wisdom declares the conclusion of the whole matter.

Eccl 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

All else is vanity!

Eccl 1:2 Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.

He speaks of himself, a man who had everything this world could offer, but all of it was vanity (something that is vain, empty, or valueless).

Eccl 3:20 All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.

Eccl 5:15 As he came forth of his mother's womb, naked shall he return to go as he came, and shall take nothing of his labour, which he may carry away in his hand.

If you read through the book, he outlines so many things a man can do; things he did, but it is all fruitless and vain, for we all die and the world's good is nothing.

Eccl 2:4 I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards: 5 I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits: 6 I made me pools of water, to water therewith the wood that bringeth forth trees: 7 I got me servants and maidens, and had servants born in my house; also I had great possessions of great and small cattle above all that were in Jerusalem before me: 8 I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces: I gat me men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as musical instruments, and that of all sorts. 9 So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me. 10 And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour. 11 Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.

Eccl 2:13 Then I saw that wisdom excelleth folly, as far as light excelleth darkness.

Wisdom excelleth... all else is valueless and folly...

Prov 16:25 There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

Eccl 2:24 There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God.

Matt 16:26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world , and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

1 John 2:15 Love not the world , neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

1 Tim 2:2-3 ... that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;

Micah 6:8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

This is really a jaw dropper...  one in a thousand is upright before God?  This grieves my soul!

Eccl 7:27-28 Behold, this have I found, saith the preacher, counting one by one, to find out the account: 28 Which yet my soul seeketh, but I find not: one man among a thousand have I found...

This seems to be the count of those who truly love the Lord today.  So few.  It is awful and very grievous.

Eccl 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

The whole duty; Fear God and keep His commandments.

Let us fear God, walk humbly with Him, love mercy, love not the world, live a quiet and peaceable life, and obey our Lord in all we do.  Amen.