This week’s edition of Peace in the Storm is based on a Bible verse that I encountered a few days ago:
Here is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is the duty of every person. (Ecclesiastes 12:13 – New Living Translation)
Those are among the final words of the book of Ecclesiastes, traditionally credited to Solomon. After a discourse on his search for the meaning of life, based on observation and personal experience, this is his conclusion. He had experienced all the pleasures available to man in his life. At every turn, though, he said it was like grasping for the wind. Nothing was fulfilling. And as he watched people around him, he saw bad things happen to good people, and he saw good things happen to bad people. So what was the underlying purpose for life? Finally, he found the answer: “Fear God and obey His commands.” The Amplified Bible brings great clarity to those words:
All has been heard; the end of the matter is: Fear God [revere and worship Him, knowing that He is] and keep His commandments, for this is the whole of man [the full, original purpose of his creation, the object of God’s providence, the root of character, the foundation of all happiness, the adjustment to all inharmonious circumstances and conditions under the sun] and the whole [duty] for every man.
If you’re not familiar with the Amplified Bible, the words in brackets provide further insight into the meaning of the original text. “Fear God,” for example, does not sound pleasant if we only understand it with our familiar definition of fear. But Solomon wasn’t talking about fearing God as we fear danger. We are to revere and worship God.
And “this is the whole of man,” or “this is the duty of every person,” as the New Living Translation says, is more clearly stated as “this is the original purpose of every person.” Only when we worship and revere God are we fulfilling God’s original purpose for our lives, and only then will we find the foundation of all happiness and be able to live in peace in the midst of unpleasant circumstances – or any circumstances.
So when you’re in a storm looking for peace, start with a quick “priority check.” Are you living in worship and reverence toward God? Are you obeying His commands? Speaking from firsthand experience, I can assure you that when you are, peace will abound.