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)
Relate: “Thomas Jefferson still survives.” Those were supposedly the last words of John Adams. Some claim all that was truly intelligible was “Thomas Jefferson” and the was the best guess by those listening as to what he intended to say. Either way, it was wrong. Thomas Jefferson beat him to the grave three hours earlier. John’s son gave us what I would consider even better last words some 22 years later, “This is the last of earth. I am content.” Then there are the three last words of Pope Alexander VI who said, “wait a minute…” Apparently heaven was a bit too impatient to bring him home.
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 his journal right up to the very end. If I someday 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 will tell you I am grateful in advance because at that point I would be dead so gratitude would be a moot point.
I had looked up a youtube sermon video from Two Rivers Church called “Death To Selfie” to share it with a friend just minutes before I sat down to start writing this, on the side were multiple “suggested videos” along the lines of “Last selfie before they died”. Apparently, actually saying something is too much work for this generation. Have you ever wondered what your “Last words” would be? What about your tombstone? Leaving old 90’s commercials aside, what do you want on your tombstone?
React: Very little is recorded of what Solomon actually said after his very long prayer at the Temple dedication. In both Kings and Chronicles there is plenty of recorded activity, rebellions, visits, etc going on but virtually nothing being said. What we do know, however, is that this portion of Ecclesiastes is the last surviving piece of his writing. He was the wisest and smartest of men to walk this earth. Per capita he was also one of the richest to ever live. He definitely was right near the top of the list when it came to women. He had more wives and concubines than most NBA players have… well, maybe I shouldn’t write that. Anyways, this is a man who lived, and when it came time to die, he knew what was what.
Sometimes I wonder what my last words will be. Now that I am in Turkey, I strongly doubt I will end up having a gravestone. If I were to have one back in the States I would like mine to say, “See you later.” I am not sure if the Turkish equivalent: “Daha sonra görüşmek üzere” carries the same tone. In English it has 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, if ever I have one, will be going there as well. If you strive to live up to Solomon’s last words, then you most definitely will.
Respond: Dear 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.