Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 -- On Respect and Obedience

"Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil."
Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

Our convenient footnotes tell us that "fear God" can be interpreted as "revere God."  I prefer that idea, personally.  I am sure that some people are motivated by fear, but it doesn't really seem like the way that God prefers to work to me.  He doesn't want us to be afraid of him... he wants us to love him.  And we should honor, respect, and revere him... worship him too.  But I think those things start with friendship and getting to know who our father is, and who we are in a relationship with him.

I like the simple part of this... it can all be summed up in respecting and revering God, and doing as he asks.  As we get to know God as our father, and realize that he only wants good for us, and is protecting us through the commandments from our own questionable choices, I think it becomes easier to recognize that obedience as what it is... not the power-hungry demand of a fascist dictator or a corrupt and greedy politician, but the earnest plea of a devoted and loving father... who, sure, has the ability to punish us, but absolutely NO desire to do so.

Everything that we do, and say, and think, and feel... even the stuff we want and try so badly to hide, it is all clear to God, and will all be known in the end.  Instead of trying to hide it, or gloss over it, or work around it... let's solve it.  With God's help, we can solve any problem in our lives.  We can change even our hearts... so things that we didn't care about, we can.  Things that we do care about that are bad for us, we can let go of and not be obsessed with anymore.  Let's team up with our father and give him the respect that he so deserves... by allowing him to help us out, to guide us in making some good choices.  By talking with him through prayer, reading his words through the scriptures, and remembering him every day.  Including today. :)

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