After fifteen weeks of walking through the book of Ecclesiastes, we come to what the Preacher calls “the end of the matter.” You may notice that many of the hymns we sing this morning have appeared earlier in this series. Pastor Grant’s sermon on Chapter One was paired with Hear Me, All You People (Psalm 49), comparing the Preacher’s
lament over the futility of man’s toil with the psalmist’s warning for “they that trust in treasured gold.” We sang Crown Him With Many Crowns (“the lord of years”; “the potentate of time”) alongside Chapter 3 (“for everything there is a season and a time under heaven”). And all through the month of June we sang Fret Not Yourself (Psalm 37), which reminded us that though evil may seem to prosper in this vain world under the sun, the Lord promises to save His people and give them a heritage. As we reach the end of the book, Chapter 12 leaves us with a bleak but still hopeful picture. Old age is a certainty, dust will return to the earth, and the spirit returns to God who gave it (vss. 7-8)—therefore, “fear God and keep His commandments” (vs. 13). The hymn God Moves In A Mysterious Way succinctly captures this sense of hope in the midst of great uncertainty that we find throughout the book: “His purposes will ripen fast unfolding every hour; the bud may have a bitter taste but sweet will be the flower. Blind unbelief is sure to err and scan His work in vain; God is His own interpreter and He will make it plain.” —Henry C. Haffner
Key Words: Remember, Years, Few, Afraid, Broken, Goads, Weariness, Judgment
Keystone Verse: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.