A Study in Ecclesiastes - Part IIBro. David Chancellor
4/30/2006 6:00 PM
There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God. For who can eat, or who else can hasten hereunto, more than I? For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that is good before God. This also is vanity and vexation of spirit.
Work is often viewed as something to be endured. It doesn’t have to be drudgery. It is good to know that satisfaction can be found in work. Seek to find joy in the work you do. People pay others to do what they are unable or unwilling to do. This still doesn’t mean it has to be drudgery. All of us can enjoy the work we have to do. Life gives us many things that we can either make drudgery of or enjoy.
“For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy…” When we live to be pleasing to God, he gives wisdom, knowledge and joy. People that look only at the things of this life tend to forget that you can’t take it with you. When your focus is on gathering and heaping up, it causes vexation to you, especially if you’ve let your family suffer for it.
Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion. Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God. For he shall not much remember the days of his life; because God answereth him in the joy of his heart.
“…it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him…” It is good to enjoy life. Those that preach the gospel are trying to help people enjoy life. God has given us many good things. Riches and wealth are only good if you can apply them to something good. It would be sad if you had amassed great wealth and couldn’t enjoy it, and use it. We can take what God has given to us and enjoy it. Focus on the blessings and the times of difficulty will be less a problem. God has made it possible to enjoy our lives and not be down in the dumps all the time. Faith helps us to trust God even in times of disaster. God has given us plenty to enjoy.
Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works. Let thy garments be always white: and let thy head lack no ointment. Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity: for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun. Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might: for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.
“…for God now accepteth thy works…” When you’re pleasing in God’s sight, you can enjoy life. A clear conscience makes for a blessed life. Cain was very unhappy because God wasn’t accepting what he was doing. Abel did what was right, even though he suffered for it. Even if we have to suffer sometimes, there is joy in knowing that you’re clear with God.
God intended marriage to be a blessing, and it is when you go at it God’s way. It can be a joyful thing. God intended that we live joyfully together. Our lives can be something we put ourselves into. We can put ourselves into serving God. Live life to its fullest serving God. When God points the way, put your all into it. You can find pleasure in doing God’s will. You can find a blessing in it.
I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it. He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end. I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life. And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God. I know that whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.
“He hath made every thing beautiful in his time…” You can’t always see the beauty at the time, but God will reveal it. Man is always trying to figure out what God is trying to do. The important thing to know is that God is working and he has a good plan. We need to find our place in it. Be faithful even when it seems ineffective. God knows the big picture. He measures us by our faithfulness. How are you doing what God would have you to do? Do you complain, or do you do it with joyfulness?
“I know that whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.” Remember that God is in control, and what he does will last. He can build your life to be of lasting good. Accept that God knows what he is doing, and live where he puts you and do as he bids you.
Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.
Because mankind fell into sin, he has suffered many things. The God that created man upright can make man upright again. Our ideas will have to go, but we can be upright again. We can put those things aside and find good things in God. We can experience his blessings when we walk with him.
Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him: But it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he prolong his days, which are as a shadow; because he feareth not before God.
People seem to be able to do wrong and get by, but there are things that come and trouble those that do wrong. Those that walk with God will end up all right. Look beneath the surface and see what else is there. Is there an abundant life? Is the sinner really happy? The one that walks with God may experience trouble, but this is the one that has it good.
“…yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him…” The ones that walk with God will find good. The ones that try to get by with things will find that it has exacted its price. God has designed it where we can get good out of life.
The writer was trying to help us see the pitfalls to avoid and how to have a good life. The life lived with God is a blessed life.