DON’T LOSE PERSPECTIVE
9 Since he had the advantage of being a wise man, the collector also taught the people knowledge; and he compared, searched out and arranged many proverbs. 10 The collector sought to find appropriate words to write: words of truth with integrity. 11 The words of wise men are like cattle prods, and these masterful collections are like well-driven nails; they are given by one Shepherd. 12 But if you want to go beyond this, my son, I warn you: the writing of many books never ends, and excessive devotion to books wears out the body. 13 The last word, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this word is for everyone. 14 Because God will hold us accountable for everything we do, everything which is hidden, if it is good or if it is evil.
the last word
Solomon knew that since he had accomplished a great deal as a scholar and writer, there would be those who would want to imitate him. But he also knew the price that he had paid by his excessive devotion to the written word. So, he warns his sons (and anyone else who might read these words – including us) not to get so obsessed with learning and writing. In the end, only one message is for everyone: fear God and keep his commandments. Our failure or success in life does not depend on how much we accomplish. It depends on his judgment.
LORD, we surrender our ambitions to you. Teach us how to do our life’s work without losing perspective.