The Whole Duty of Man


The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil. Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 ESV

[Jesus said:] “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. Revelation 22:12-14 ESV


A young apprentice who worked for a sorcerer had a chore to do one day while the sorcerer was out of his workshop. He had to fetch water with buckets, but the full buckets were very heavy and the apprentice got tired of the job. He decided to cast a spell to make a broom do the work for him. The broom started bringing in the water, but when the job was done the apprentice didn’t know how to stop the broom. It kept bringing in water and started flooding the workshop. The apprentice tried to stop the broom by hacking it to pieces with an ax, but each piece became a broom that kept bringing in water. This disaster only ended when the sorcerer came back.

This foolish apprentice is a picture of the foolishness of trying to understand what God is doing and to try to do things that are beyond what God has given us to do. Some people have big dreams of changing the world, and think that they can figure out all of God’s plans on their own or do incredible things without God’s help. But the Bible says that we should be humble. We need to let God stay in charge of our lives and of his world. God gives us work to do, and sometimes he does great things through a person’s work, but even then it’s God’s work and not ours. Usually our work stays small and seems unimportant, but the work God gives us to do is all that we need to do.

Even the work God gives us to do, and the commandments he gives us to follow, are more than we are able to do or keep. That’s why we fear God, because we know we deserve his anger and punishment. We are afraid of the day of judgment, because when all our secrets come out we know we deserve to be separated from God forever. But God gives us a way to be forgiven and saved. He sent Jesus to do his work perfectly for us, and to die on the cross to pay for our sins. Because of Jesus, we don’t have to be afraid of God’s judgment. We know we will live in heaven with him forever. God helps us do the work he gives us to do with joy and love because of everything he has done for us.


Dear Heavenly Father, help us to trust you with our lives and with the world you love. Thank you for Jesus, our Savior. In His Name, Amen.


Fantasia. Dir. Samuel Armstrong et. al. Walt Disney Productions, 1940. Film.