The Wisdom of Fearing God

This entry is part 21 of 22 in the series A Life of Wisdom

Apart from God, you have no hope.

But the book of Ecclesiastes teaches us that there is hope in fearing God. We are not going to understand why there is evil in the world or why the wicked succeed during their earthly lives. Instead of asking why, however, we can lean into the grace of God and trust in Him. This does not come naturally—we must train ourselves to surrender our burdens and our questions of why to Him.

The Wisdom of Fearing God

Fearing God is key when it comes to developing trust in God. Part of the reason is that when we fear Him—developing a sense of reverential awe for Him because of His transcendence—we recognize that everything from Him is gift and grace. We will also understand His holiness and the righteousness He requires, helping us avoid the temptation to live as if He did not exist.

We do not get what we deserve in this life because we deserve death. Our sin has separated us from God. But God, in His mercy, has clothed those who believe with the righteousness of Christ (see 2 Corinthians 5:21).

A Different Perspective

Ecclesiastes makes clear the wisdom of fearing God. In context, it shows us the vanity of a life lived apart from God. Because the things of this world are not all there is, only God’s perspective can bring true meaning to life. Hedonism, empiricism, nihilism—these worldviews will ultimately fail.

If you look for satisfaction in this world and do not fear God, you will not find it, because this world is not your home. Pursuing your preferred pleasures will not give meaning to your life; pursuing God’s pleasures will. Only God’s perspective brings meaning to life.

As a result, you have to die to your folly, to your foolish vision of what you think you need. God is the One who ultimately knows what you need. He has your best interests at heart. In this life, we must walk in faith. But faith is temporary, because one day we will see God and will understand His plan.

Watch more of Ken Boa’s Friday morning study videos here.

Want to find meaning in life? Read about Solomon’s wisdom on how to do so.

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