Until this week I hadn't noticed the words chiseled in stone above the museum entrance;
"These are parts of HIS ways, but how little a portion is heard of HIM".
How could I have, in my youth, overlooked this tribute to the Creator of my treasured exhibits? I now know that the chiseled stone tribute is a quote from the end of Job 26, where Job is recounting the unfathomable creative power emanating from God's spoken word. Had I traveled 10,000 miles to show our girls the creations of my youth, or their Creator? (v1)
We visited Ruru Lawn Cemetery, Block 24, Plot 12. We uncovered the marble marker as best we could, rebuked the encroaching grass, and scraped off the lichen that was drawing life from the very marker that declared the absence of Daisy Elizabeth Hunt's life -- laid to rest, Tuesday 27 November 1973, having died at the age of 85 in my mother's arms. What was her conclusion of the whole matter? Her final words? "Pat, I've been waiting for you ... waiting for you to come and just hold me." The silver cord was severed (v6), and her breath returned to God who gave it (v7; Gen 2:7). Meaningless? (v8)
What were King David's last words to his son, King in Jerusalem? As 1 Kings 2 records, King David's last words to his son were "make sure that Joab and Shimei meet with a bloody death. I promised not to kill Shimei, but that promise doesn't bind you." In the light of that dubious precedent, Solomon's 'conclusion of the matter' appears downright noble.
But is it? Is your message to the next generation,
"Fulfill your duty to keep God's commandments, (v13)
because there is going to be a judgment." (v14)
Or, do you have another conclusion to the 'whole matter' of humanity's apparent hopelessness?
In concluding our study of Ecclesiastes, please share your message to the next generation.
© Alister L. Hunt Ph.D