4/2/23 Sermon summary (Eccl 12:9-14)
by Pastor David Hentschel
Ecclesiastes 12:9-14 is the concluding section of the book of Ecclesiastes, which is attributed to the wisdom of King Solomon. This passage includes one final exhortation to the reader in preparation for the final judgment. To prepare for this day, one must accept three realities: The Gift, The Goad and The Peg.
THE GIFT: In essence, the passage is a reflection on the wisdom and teachings of the Teacher, who is believed to be King Solomon. It emphasizes the importance of listening to the words of the wise, as they can provide guidance and direction in life. These inspired words are a gift and a delight.
THE GOAD: These words are also likened to “goads.” A goad was a six-foot long sharp stick used in the herding of animals. Like this, at times, God’s wisdom must inflict pain upon us to keep us going in the right direction and get us to our divine destination.
Therefore, the words of the Bible will make us smile and the words of the Bible will make us wince. One way to evaluate your relationship with your creator is to ask yourself, “When was the last time you enjoyed the pleasure of the Bible or felt the pain of the bible and submitted to it, even though you didn’t like what it said?”
The passage also acknowledges the limits of human knowledge and the futility of excessive study, suggesting that there is no end to the making of books and that too much study can be tiring and overwhelming.
Ultimately, the passage concludes with a call to fear God and keep his commandments, emphasizing that all deeds, whether good or evil, will be judged by God in the end. This is seen as the ultimate duty of all mankind.
THE PEG: There is one more image provided for us in verse 11 which reads like this, “The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails—given by one shepherd. Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them.” Notice it says God’s wisdom is likened to firmly fixed nails. Does that remind you of anything? The term literally means, “a peg.” Did you know one of the for the Messiah – in the Bible is “the peg”? We find this very rare term used by Zechariah the prophet, “From Judah will come the cornerstone, from him the tent peg” (Zech 10:4).
Out of all the images in the Bible to take on for himself, isn’t it interesting that God chose this one for His Messiah? Why? It’s not only because He secures the tent of your life, It is also because the Messiah would take the firmly embedded nails, the peg of God’s judgment in His own hands and feet for you.
To avoid a life of meaninglessness and to prepare for the final judgment, you need to embrace the wisdom of God found in the Gift, the Goad and the Peg.