Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: “Fear God, and keep his commandments: for is this the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” – Ecclesiastes 12:13-14
Obviously, this verse speaks of duty – duty of man. And not only ordinary duty, it says, the whole duty of man or the ultimate duty of man.
Man is a responsible being. He is answerable for whatever things he does. If he do good, there will be reward. Otherwise, there will be punishment. Man cannot escape the consequences of his actions. If fact, the Bible says that as a man sowed, the same shall he reap. And that is true – physically, morally and spiritually.
Man has a various duties – duties to his people, country, friends, and family and even to himself. But amongst all these different and probably very important duties, there’s one that is most essential of all which consist the ultimate duty of man, “to fear God and to obey and to keep His commandments.” Therefore, man is duty-bound to his Creator. He has responsibilities and obligations to fulfill. So important are these that though man may succeed in many other duties, if he fails this one, that man is the greatest failure of all.
It is God’s ordained truth that our ultimate duty is to God. Why? Why does God demand that man fulfill this duty? Has he the right? The answer, of course, is a resounding YES. He has all the right to demand such from man.
Man’s Life is in the Hands of God
In the words of Paul in Acts 17:20, in his sermon to the intellectual of Athens during his days, he emphasized the reason why man is obligated to God. It is his moral obligation and duty to serve God, “for in Him, we live and move and have our being.”
Life is the most precious and priceless gift of God. Accordingly, the Word of God encourages us to offer everything before the altar of service and sacrifice to God. In Romans 12:1,
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”
Once a person becomes aware of God’s priceless gift even the temporal things which God has abundantly blessed him, the response would be an affirmation that he will put God first in his life.Man Originated from God
There is a popular theory among the so-called intellectuals that man evolved from animals. That man, as he is, is a result of a million-year revolution from the lowest to the most complicated form of life. According to this popular belief, which hitherto cannot be ultimately proven true, man came from apes. But, of course, the Bible claims that man was created by God in His own image and likeness,
“…Let us make man in our own image, after our likeness.” – Genesis 1:26
What is the image of God in man? Was it physical? The Bible says in Ephesians 4:24,
“And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”
Man has the capacity to live in righteousness and holiness. Apostle Paul, in his words in Colossians 3:10 adds one element as the image of God in man,
“And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.”
Knowledge therefore is a likeness of God in man. Many say that there are intelligent and witty animals but only man has the gift of knowledge, the gift of the hunger and appetite to know more. God is a wise God and man that has been created after the image of his Creator is gifted with the gift of knowledge. Therefore, man’s loyalty, his focused devotion must be to Him who has created man in His own likeness.
We are not results of a blind evolution David said when he examined himself, “I was wonderfully created.” He marveled of the wonder of God’s wisdom in the creation of man.
Everything you look at man is something that can never be duplicated. Though there is now cloning, you will note that it only duplicates what already exists. Man is a marvel of God’s handy work of His wisdom and love. Man is God’s masterpiece.
We may claim that we own ourselves but we can never mistrust the fact that God who bought us with a price now owns us. Of course, this stunning truth is most precious to those who have been saved and have experienced the redemptive work of Jesus Christ.
“What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” – I Corinthians 6:19-20
God owns us for two reasons: (1) by right of creation; and to those who are saved, (2) by right of redemption. Who ever purchased an item and do not posses it? Who ever bought something and do not own it? Jesus Christ, through His own precious blood, bought us and because we have been purchased now we are not our own. When we dedicate and offer our bodies and everything that we have before the altar of God, we are only returning those which are His. Consequently, God demands that the best be given to Him. In Matthew 22:36-38,
“Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.”
In the Old Testament, God demanded that the animal to be offered as burnt offerings must be the healthiest, the most beautiful, and the first-born of the flock. To offer blemished and defected ones according to Malachi Chapter I was an insult to the majesty of God. God is not a beggar. Everything that we have is God’s. And He can take it anytime He wants it. Likewise, we should make our duty to God be the ultimate one because we are His.
Man Will Give Account Before God
There will be a day when we will face our Creator and personally give account of ourselves before Him. There will be a day of accounting, a day of reckoning.
“So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” – Romans 14:12We can never deny the truth that one of these days, we will be subpoenaed to stand before Him. Even if we were buried on the deep blue sea or our ashes be scattered all over the land, still, the presence of God will bring us before His court.
Remember, therefore, our ultimate duty is to God.