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So live supportively, live generously, live thoughtfully!

Solomon has looked at life from every angle, from every discipline, from every philosophy, and apart from God it is all meaningless. God is HERE, He Contols, He Gives, He Judges, but if you live apart from God it is all Meaningless.

So - how are we to live? In ch 10-11, Solomon says, 'Live supportively with regard to the government; live generously with regard to the hurts and needs of those around you; and live thoughtfully as you daily make the choices and decisions of life.'

Sounds nice, and quite frankly many atheists (and many people of all faiths) live this way. Again, people can do good here on earth from the view of "mankind". We are all in the image of God (though corrupted after the fall), and we all have sense of right and wrong, feelings of love, compassion, intellect - to some degree we all have the attributes of God and the Trinity. (It is on a spectrum with some more than others.)

But even if you live the way recommended above - in the end - without God, it is Meaningless. Sure people will have fond memories of you for a while. There may even be a building, statue, or library named after you - but in the grand scope of things it doesn't mean anything. Pretty soon, people will forget you, what you did, and how you lived. They may recognize your name or may be able to study you in a history book - but they will not know you, the person.

So what do we do? We can live the reccomended way, but we should:

"Remember your Creator in the days of your youth,.."
(I wish I had come to Christ when I was younger!)

"The thought is: recall God's presence daily; live in a relationship with him; seek to discover the greatness and glories of God while you are still young, before it is too late."

If you don't discover God when you are young, as old age approaches one becomes set in his ways, resistant to change, perhaps seeking less. The danger? That you end up like the conclusion below:

"The Searcher's conclusion, then, as we have been seeing all through the book, is that life "under the sun," life lived without having discovered the reason for living, is vanity, emptiness, futility. The greatest futility of all is a life that has not found the reason for living. What a waste to live your life and never discover why you are here! What a waste, to die without learning the secret of true existence!" - Ray Stedman

Meaningless! Meaningless!" says the Teacher. "Everything is meaningless!"

God is the secret of life; He is the answer to the reason for existence.
[The end of the matter [the sum of it all]: all has been heard. [Here it is] Fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man. {Eccl 12:13 RSV}

I hope you will remove the word "duty" from your version. It is not in the Hebrew, although, unfortunately, every version seems to translate it that way. It is really this statement:

Fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the wholeness of man.

That is the secret of wholeness. To "Fear God, and keep his commandments" is to learn to be and to discover the secret of being a whole person. Who does not want that? We all want to be whole persons. Not broken, fragmented, easily upset, erratic, going off in all directions at once, but stable, controlled, balanced. whole people. Here is the secret of it. This is what we are to learn when we are young: "Remember your Creator in the days of your youth," before all the pressures come upon you. This is the secret of wholeness: "Fear* God, and keep his commandments."]

God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil. [Eccl 12:14 RSV}

We can't hide from God. He is evident in all our life. He knows everything that goes on; he knows every thought of the heart, every word of the mouth. He knows the motives that we seek to hide from others. He sees the duplicity, the deception, the lovelessness. He has made provision for it all; nothing can be hid. Everything is going to come out in the open at last. All the illusions by which we seek to convince ourselves that things are not the way the Bible says they are, will be stripped away and we will see ourselves as he sees us; and there will not be a voice lifted to challenge the righteousness of his judgment.

Because of that the Solomon exhorts us and sets before us the wonder and the glory of our God and says, "Fear God." Have faith in his existence; experience his grace; stand in awe of his Person; and resolve to obey him. That is what fearing God means. That is the secret to life; that is the secret of the wholeness of man. - ibid.

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