Summary: There are five men in this text that I do not want to be: The Sensuous Man, The Survivor Man, The Society Man, The Social Man, and the Status Man! I want to be the Spiritual Man!

Title: “Living Dogs and Dead Lions”

Introduction: Did you take the time to read the text? If so, pretty depressing, right?

You have to keep in mind that Solomon is writing this text from the view point of the natural man “under the sun.” Reread verse three.

If you take God, Heaven, and faith, out of life’s equation, life is vanity. In a twist, what you are reading in the Book of Ecclesiastes is God’s perception of the lost man’s perception of life.

Now, after meditating much on the text, let me share with you concerning these “Five Foolish Men under the Sun:”

1. The Sensuous Man:

The man who lives for worldly pleasure.

(Eccl 9:3 KJV) This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event unto all: yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead.

Note that this man is full of evil and madness of heart. The “Sensuous Man” lives from party to party. He is the party-harty man. He lives his whole life just to satisfy the lust of his flesh.

2. The Survivor Man:

The man who lives just to stay alive.

(Eccl 9:4-6 ) For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion. For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.

The “Survivor Man” lives to simply stay alive. He does not know where his next meal is coming from. His life is filled with poverty. To the “Survivor Man,” life has been reduced to either being a “living dog or a dead lion.” If you are not a dog, then you are dead.

The “Survivor Man’s” theme is death. He knows that he is going to die. Therefore, his only effort is to stay alive. A sad sad life…

3. The Society Man:

The Man who lives for his family and friends.

(Eccl 9:7-9) 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.

At least, the “Society Man” appears to be reasonably happy. He has a good job, a wife, children, and belongs to the country club. He goes to work every day to pay off the mortgage. He wines and dines his wife on Friday nights. But, if you look closely at the text, he too, is living his life in vanity.

4. The Social Man:

The man who lives to make a difference in the lives of others.

(Eccl 9:10 KJV) 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.

The “Social Man” sees the hour glass running. He is racing against time. He digs in and determines to take his best shot at life. He is missionary minded. He joins the Red Cross. He contributes. But still, in the final analysis, an empty grave awaits his worn out body.

5. The Status Man:

The man who wants to leave his mark in history. He wants to be remembered.

(Eccl 9:11 KJV) I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

The “Status Man” achieves much personal recognition by his peers in this life time. He has trophies on his mantle. There are diplomas on his wall. He has pictures of himself with military decorations on his book shelf.

But he too will soon be forgotten. His life is vanity. Someone will break his records. A future yard sale awaits his tarnished trophies.

Is there an alternative? Please read again,

(Eccl 9:11 KJV) I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

Note the last part of this verse. The proper theological word for “time and chance” is God’s providence! I believe that you are reading today’s thoughts because of the providence of God. And in God’s providence, let me take you from the utter delusion of Solomon’s world of life “under the sun,” and introduce you to the sunlight of the New Testament: Life under the Son of God!

Yes, there is an alternative:

The Spiritual Man!

You can live your life for Christ.

Please contrast this New Testament verse of Phil 1:21 with with Eccl. 9:4:

(Phil 1:21 KJV) For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

In Solomon’s world of living life under the sun without the son, in this life you were a dog, and in death you were dead. Just dead.

To those who have come to know of God’s salvation through the blood of Christ, we have an entirely new perspective:

Note again Paul’s words: “For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain!”

In this life, I am not a dog, I am a child of the King. My daily mission is to serve a living Christ!

My death is not a world of being soon forgotten and ceasing to exist. My death is gain. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord! And in the presence of Christ there is joy and victory. God is not the God of the dead, he is the God of the living!

And so I ask you, are you living your life as one of the five fools that Solomon mentions in Ecclesiastes nine, or have you come into a relationship with the Son of God?

Are you experiencing the abundant life, or are you nothing more than a living dog, awaiting the fate of the dead lion?