Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | February 17, 2017

“This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”

Today’s devotion comes from Ecclesiastes chapter 12.

“Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near when you will say, “I have no delight in them”;  before the sun and the light, the moon and the stars are darkened, and clouds return after the rain;  3 in the day that the watchmen of the house tremble, and mighty men stoop, the grinding ones stand idle because they are few, and those who look through windows grow dim;  4 and the doors on the street are shut as the sound of the grinding mill is low, and one will arise at the sound of the bird, and all the daughters of song will sing softly.  5 Furthermore, men are afraid of a high place and of terrors on the road;  the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper drags himself along, and the caperberry is ineffective.  For man goes to his eternal home while mourners go about in the street.  6 Remember Him before the silver cord is broken and the golden bowl is crushed, the pitcher by the well is shattered and the wheel at the cistern is crushed;  7 then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.  8 “Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher, “all is vanity!”

9 In addition to being a wise man, the Preacher also taught the people knowledge; and he pondered, searched out and arranged many proverbs.  10 The Preacher sought to find delightful words and to write words of truth correctly.

11 The words of wise men are like goads, and masters of these collections are like well-driven nails;  they are given by one Shepherd.  12 But beyond this, my son, be warned:  the writing of many books is endless, and excessive devotion to books is wearying to the body.

13 The conclusion, when all has been heard, is:  fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person.  14 For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.”  Ecclesiastes chapter 12.

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We like to think we are in control.  We like to focus on our achievements, our wealth, and our longevity.

But, the vivid imagery of this concluding chapter of Ecclesiastes summarizes the Book of Ecclesiastes in reminding us of the brevity and futility of life.

“Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher, “all is vanity!”  Verse 8.

“The conclusion, when all has been heard, is:  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.”  Verses 13 and 14.

This concluding chapter humbles us and prepares us for God’s salvation.

We get a hint and a hope of God’s salvation in Ecclesiastes 3:14.

“I know that everything God does will remain forever;  there is nothing to add to it and there is nothing to take from it, for God has so worked that men should fear Him.”    Ecclesiastes 3:14.

In sharpest contrast to the brevity and futility of man’s work, there is God’s work.

“Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?”  Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”  John 6:28-29.

Reformed Doctrine teaches this work of God from “Unconditional Election” through “Limited Atonement” through “Irresistible Grace” to “Preservation of the Saints” of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation.

“Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He (Christ) Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.”  Hebrews 2:14-15.

“But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed.  Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith.  But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.  For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.”  Galatians 3:22-26.

“But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.  Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”  Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son;  and if a son, then an heir through God.”  Galatians 4:4-7.


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