Ecclesiastes 9-12, Psalm 10
Chuck Swindoll writes, “There is a line found in the Jewish Talmud that puts it well:”Man is born with his hands clenched; he dies with them wide open. Entering life, he desires to grasp everything; leaving the world, all he has possessed has slipped away.” Job realized this same thing when all he had was removed from him in a single day, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked I shall return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.:” (Job 1:21) Solomon weaves us through almost anything a person could desire in the first 11 chapters of Ecclesiastes concluding that all of life’s pursuits on earth are empty, but he ends with the right conclusion in chapter 12. In 12:13-14, he concludes with, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, Including every secret thing, Whether good or evil.”
I have heard people say that it would be easier to believe if you were around during the time of Jesus and were able to hear Him speak. Some say they would believe if they could just see some of the miracles during the time of Moses, or the prophets, or Jesus, or the apostles. But we have a much more complete story than Solomon had. We have the life of Jesus and the reality of the Gospel message. We have the Holy Spirit living within us. We have more complete revelation in our 66 book Bible than those before us had. We see from much of the despair in Solomon’s conclusions is he had not grasped the reality of eternity with the fullness of God’s grace and justice. In Ecclesiastes 9:3-6, 11:8 along with other sections he concludes his thoughts with, all that we are returns to dust, so why bother.
But, we know we have a Savior. We know that our time on earth is only a mist, but that our soul never dies. Because of this, like Paul we can say, “We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 5:8). Again like Paul we can say, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21). Knowing this we can live our lives boldly knowing that all that we do, we do for Him. Jesus said in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” What we do on earth does matter and will be judged. For those who have not accepted Christ’s offer of salvation, judgment will occur before the Great White Throne in Revelation 20 and result in eternity in the lake of fire. For those of us in Christ, our sins have already been judged once and for all on the cross. We will then stand before the Judgment seat of Christ and be judged as to our works not for our destination (we will be heaven bound) but as to what crowns of righteousness we will receive for what we have done in service to Him while on earth. So may we all live our life with the mindset of Paul, who at the end of his life on earth said in 2 Timothy 4:7-8,”I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.”
Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley: