If you click on the link to the Scripture passage above, the first heading you see reads, “Death Comes to All.” Pretty encouraging, right?
Here we see the Teacher reflecting on the fact that “whether righteous or wicked, good or bad” all people die. And not only that all people die, but it seems that good or bad behavior does not affect treatment from others (v. 2).
So what should we do? According to the Teacher, we should enjoy ourselves! Eat food with joy! Wear fine clothes! “Live happy with the woman you love through all the meaningless days of life that God has given you under the sun” (v. 9).
Are all of our days meaningless? Without a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, yes.
A person without a relationship with Jesus may look at all the evil in the world in despair, knowing that there is no hope. However, a person with a relationship with Jesus should look at all the evil in the world, including the suffering they endure, and be hopeful that God is working all things together for their good and his glory, and trust that the “sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18, ESV).
A person without a relationship with Jesus may see everything as meaningless, and try to find satisfaction in food, drink, clothing, or earthly relationships. However, a person with a relationship with Jesus should see everything to have a purpose, and eat and drinks “to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31, ESV) while loving their spouse in a biblical way (Ephesians 5).
The Teacher is right in saying that we “can never predict when hard times might come” (v. 12). It is how you view evil, suffering, and your purpose that makes all the difference.
Questions for Today:
- How do you view your suffering? Are you trusting that God is working all things for your good and his glory?
- Do you generally look at things as meaningless or to have a God-given purpose?
By: Lucas Taylor — West Campus Pastoral Ministry Apprentice