The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.
If you have yet to realize that God is the Ruler of this exceedingly complex universe and that therefore you are not, then the door to the kingdom of heaven and a meaningful life remains closed. To you, this verse serves as a final warning with the weight of the warning falling on the words “every” and “secret.” Each and every word, action, and thought will be judged by God (Eccles. 11:9c – 12:7; Rom. 2:16).
However, if you have come to Christ in faith and are thus willing to live in dependence upon his wisdom, provision, and grace, then this verse serves as a reminder of the comfort that will come when Jesus balances the scales of justice on the last day. On that day he will vindicate those already declared righteous by him. He will also condemn the wicked who by rejecting him will have every deed, including every secret thing, taken into account (Matt. 25:31 – 46; 2 Cor. 5:10).
Above all, Ecclesiastes is a call to entrust yourself to God, the only solid truth and reality in this universe. Everything “under the sun” will finally disappoint. But trust in God gives us an “above the sun” perspective that acknowledges the harsh realities of this fallen existence while retaining hope. God will one day cleanse this world and reinstate Eden. In Christ, this new world has already dawned.
This series of posts pairs a brief passage of Scripture with associated study notes drawn from the Gospel Transformation Bible. For more information about the Gospel Transformation Bible, please visit GospelTransformationBible.org.