TEXT: Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

KEY VERSE: Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.Ecclesiastes 12:13(KJV)

King Solomon, considered the wisest man who ever lived, wrote extensively on various aspects of life, including love, wealth, creation, trials, and death. He summarized his ideas with the statement: “To fear God and keep his commandments is the whole duty of man.” The fear referred to here is not the type that paralyzes and leads to inaction but rather the kind that empowers obedience.

The dictionary defines fear as an unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain, or harm. To be afraid of someone or something is to consider them likely to be dangerous, causing pain, and harmful. In the Bible, the word for fear in Hebrew is “Yirah,” which stands for awe and reverence. To fear God is to have deep respect and honour for him and not to be scared of him.

The fear that compelled Moses to flee from Pharaoh in Egypt was starkly different from the godly fear that led him to obey God and return to Egypt. This distinction is crucial, as it highlights the transformative power of godly fear in our lives. 

He answered, “Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you mean to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid and thought, “Surely the thing is known.”  When Pharaoh heard of it, he sought to kill Moses. But Moses fled from Pharaoh and stayed in the land of Midian. And he sat down by a well. Exodus 2: 14-15(KJV)

“Who is like unto Thee, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like Thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders? Exodus 15:11(KJV)

I will show you the one to fear. You should fear God, who has the power to kill you and also to throw you into hell. Yes, he is the one you should fear. Luke 12:5(ERV)

Jesus experienced fear, but it wasn’t a paralyzing fear of the Cross. Instead, he feared being separated from his Father’s will or presence. He understood the immense pain that the Romans were capable of inflicting. Even the Prophet Isaiah, whom he had once quoted, described the brutal treatment God’s servant would endure. However, Jesus’s deep respect for the Father motivated him to carry the Cross willingly and bravely on the journey to Calvary.

Christ, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto Him that was able to save Him from death, and was heard in that He feared. Hebrews 5:7(KJV)

In the days of His flesh [Jesus] offered up definite, special petitions [for that which He not only wanted but needed] and supplications with strong crying and tears to Him Who was [always] able to save Him [out] from death, and He was heard because of His reverence toward God [His godly fear, His piety, in that He shrank from the horrors of separation from the bright presence of the Father]. Hebrews 5:7(AMPC)

Going on a little farther, he fell on his face, praying, “My Father, if possible, let this cup pass from me! Yet — not what I want, but what you want!” Matthew 26:39(CJB)

Jesus had a mindset that trusted the Father. He knew that what he wanted may sometimes differ from what the Father wanted, and he was ready to submit to his will. That’s what he prayed for. Embracing God’s will and assignment might seem painful to the flesh and cause us to pray with tears and cry aloud to the Father because we are human. These times of conflict in desires are the times we present ourselves as living sacrifices ready to do God’s will. (Romans 12:1-2)

Yet while Christ was here on earth, he pleaded with God, praying with tears and agony of soul to the only one who would save him from premature death. And God heard his prayers because of his strong desire to obey God at all times. Hebrews 5:7 (TLB)

He was heard because of his strong desire to obey God at all times. Prayer should not be a means of arm-twisting God to do what we want and always relieve us of all pain; rather, prayer should be our altar of surrender and submission.

Pursuing purpose will always require Godly fear; the flesh, world systems, and culture will always want us to seek shortcuts and the easy way out of the details of the assignment. But may our reverence and confidence in God’s wisdom and integrity help us remember that God never sends us to places where He will not go with us, and his plans and will are always for good and not for evil.

For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome. Jeremiah 29:11(AMPC)

Walking in the purpose of God may place us in harm’s way sometimes because our enemy seeks to steal, kill and destroy. But as soldiers of the Cross, God expects us to engage like Nehemiah, with one hand on the task and the other holding onto our weapons of warfare. Spiritual warfare is necessary in the pursuit of God’s purpose. (Ephesians 6:11-18)

Those who built the wall and those who bore burdens loaded themselves so that everyone worked with one hand and held a weapon with the other hand, Nehemiah 4:17(AMPC)

For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds, 2 Corinthians 10:4(AMPC)

As Moses, David, Deborah, Esther and Paul did not fear man or death but fulfilled God’s purpose for their lives, the scriptures assure of victory in Jesus’ name. Amen

“People will make weapons to fight against you, but their weapons will not defeat you. Some people will say things against you, but anyone who speaks against you will be proved wrong.” The Lord says, “That is what my servants get! They get the good things that come from me, their Lord. Isaiah 54;17(ERV)

Reflection Questions

  1. How does this text speak to you today?
  2. Does your fear of God make you shrink from him or run to him?
  3. What scripture encourages you in the face of fear?
  4. How will you equip yourself better in readiness for warfare?

Stay up to date

We don't spam. Subscribe to get notified whenever we publish a new article/post

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top

Download my free E-book!