Jun 21, 2020
Scripture Reading: Ecclesiastes 9:1-12
After citing some of the seeming inequities of life (Ecc 8:14) and repeating his observation that God's designs for human life are often impossible to determine (Ecc 8:17), Solomon draws some conclusions.
Though life is often painful, righteous people (i.e. people of faith) know the security of being in the hand of God (Ecc 9:1). In a more general sense, all people and all events are in God's hand and there often does not seem to be rhyme or reason to these events. Additionally, much of what happens in life is beyond man's control.
And what appears outwardly to the human eye, bound as it is by a very limited perspective, is not always a clear indication of God's favor or displeasure ("Whether it is love or hate man does not know; both are before him" - Ecc 9:1b). To some, Job's circumstances looked like God hated him, while Nebuchadnezzar's power and luxury looked like God loved him.
The ultimate example of apparent and confusing inequity is the universality of death. "It is the same for all, since the same event happens to the righteous and the wicked" (Ecc 9:2).
One of Solomon's conclusions, looking at life from the perspective of its brevity and the inevitability of death, is that we should live life with a profound sense of urgency. "Whatever you hand finds to do, do it with all your might; for there is no work or thought or wisdom in Sheol [the grave], to which you are going" (Ecc 9:10). This is something of an Old Testament counterpart to 1 Corinthians 10:31 - "So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."