Summary: Solomon challenges us to examine whether we are alive in Christ or dead in our sin. He tells us to find God’s favor now because at the crossover it will be too late!
“Are you Alive or Dead?”
Ecc. Pt. 10
Opening Illustration: Prophecy fulfilled by Blue Fish TV
Thesis: Solomon challenges us to examine whether we are alive in Christ or dead in our sin. He tells us to find God’s favor now because at the crossover it will be too late!
Scripture Text: Ecclesiastes chapter 9
1So I reflected on all this and concluded that the righteous and the wise and what they do are in God’s hands, but no man knows whether love or hate awaits him. 2All share a common destiny—the righteous and the wicked, the good and the bad, the clean and the unclean, those who offer sacrifices and those who do not.
As it is with the good man,
so with the sinner;
as it is with those who take oaths,
so with those who are afraid to take them.
3This is the evil in everything that happens under the sun: The same destiny overtakes all. The hearts of men, moreover, are full of evil and there is madness in their hearts while they live, and afterward they join the dead. 4Anyone who is among the living has hope—even a live dog is better off than a dead lion!
5 For the living know that they will die,
but the dead know nothing;
they have no further reward,
and even the memory of them is forgotten.
6 Their love, their hate
and their jealousy have long since vanished;
never again will they have a part
in anything that happens under the sun.
7Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for it is now that God favors what you do. 8Always be clothed in white, and always anoint your head with oil. 9Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun—all your meaningless days. For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun. 10Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.
11I have seen something else under the sun:
The race is not to the swift
or the battle to the strong,
nor does food come to the wise
or wealth to the brilliant
or favor to the learned;
but time and chance happen to them all.
12Moreover, no man knows when his hour will come:
As fish are caught in a cruel net,
or birds are taken in a snare,
so men are trapped by evil times
that fall unexpectedly upon them.
13I also saw under the sun this example of wisdom that greatly impressed me: 14There was once a small city with only a few people in it. And a powerful king came against it, surrounded it and built huge siege works against it. 15Now there lived in that city a man poor but wise, and he saved the city by his wisdom. But nobody remembered that poor man. 16So I said, “Wisdom is better than strength.” But the poor man’s wisdom is despised, and his words are no longer heeded.
17 The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded
than the shouts of a ruler of fools.
18 Wisdom is better than weapons of war,
but one sinner destroys much good.
Solomon once again becomes realistic and honest about what he faced and felt about life
in this chapter of Ecc. He makes some poignant observations about life and death. Everyone whether you are righteous or wicked are in the hands of God he says. He is really saying everyone is going to acknowledge that God is God! No one knows what awaits them at the point when they crossover from here to eternity. Solomon wondered about his fate at the judgment seat –remember he did evil in the eyes of the Lord according to 1 Kings 11. Here is some good news for us today and that is that we have a promise from Scripture in John 3:16 that all who believe in Jesus and place their faith in Him will not perish but get eternal life. Max Lucado’s book 3:16 The Numbers of Hope also expound on this famous verse.
Solomon is just letting everyone know that whether they believe in God or not that we all share a common destiny and that is standing at the throne of Heaven to give an account of our life. Solomon calls this end point an evil because anyone who is dead already has no hope. Those who do evil and die in this state will receive no mercy and no grace from God. But the living on the other hand do have a hope that the dead do not. Those who are still alive and breathing can be resurrected from the walking dead and delivered out of the dead zone if they place their faith and trust in the Lord.