Famous Last Words (9/5/13)

Read: Ecclesiastes 10:1-12:14, 2 Corinthians 8:1-15, Psalm 49:1-20, Proverbs 22:20-21

That’s the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty. God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad. (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14)

tombstone

Relate: “Thomas Jefferson still survives.” Those were supposedly the last words of John Adams. It is debatable, though, as some claim all that was truly intelligible was “Thomas Jefferson” and the rest was the presumed thought. Either way, it was wrong. Jefferson had died three hours earlier. His son John Quincy Adams had him beat with his last words some 22 years later, “This is the last of earth. I am content.” Both beat out Pope Alexander VI who said, “wait a minute…” but apparently heaven, for him, was a bit too impatient.

What beats all in my opinion was the last written entry in the blood splattered diary of a Union Soldier dated June 3, 1864. “June 3. Cold Harbor. I was killed.” That was a man who was seriously devoted to keeping that journal right up to the end. If I have the fortune to die with my hands on this keyboard, please, somebody press the blue “publish” button on the right after I’ve breathed my last. I’ll tell you I am grateful in advance because, since I’m dead, gratitude would be a moot point.

Very little is recorded of what Solomon actually said after his Temple prayer. In both Kings and Chronicles there is plenty of activity, rebellions, visits, etc going on with virtually nothing being said. What we do know, however, is that this portion of Ecclesiastes is the last surviving piece of writing. He was the wisest and smartest of men, per capita one of the richest to ever live, definitely right near the top of the list when it comes to women. This is a man who lived. And when it came time to die, he knew what was what.

React: Sometimes I wonder what my last words will be. We throw out that hypothetical question when we ask what we want engraved on our tombstones. I think I would probably like mine to say, “See you later.” It’s got a light side, but ultimately it is a three word message of hope. I know without question where I will be going and I sincerely hope that you reading this, as well as any reading my gravestone will be there as well. If you strive to live up to Solomon’s last words, then I most definitely will.

Respond: 

God, I long to be faithful right to the end. Help me to reverence You and obey Your commands with every breath that I take right up to that last exhale. Even from the grave help me to continue to point people to You. You know those who I have been praying for who have wandered from You or have not yet met You. Please continue to draw them and pursue them with Your love as long as there is still time. More than anything I long to see them, and You in the later.

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9 thoughts on “Famous Last Words (9/5/13)

  1. I liked the survey of last words 🙂 Last words make me think of what Jesus said, that out of the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks. Makes me pray that Christ is the fullness of my heart now and to my last breath. Blessings!

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