There was a story told that when Tamer Lee Owens celebrated her 104th birthday, she credited “laughter, the Lord, and the
little things” for keeping her going. She still finds enjoyment each day in talking with people, taking a walk, and reading the Bible
as she h … More
The book of Ecclesiastes is not a study in defeatism but rather realism. It causes us to put our minds right up front and let God show the world as it really is. The first part of this chapter emphasizes the fact that people in their natural state are not able to enjoy the fruits of their labor (vv. 1-2).
Some Christians have excellent health but have never learned how to enjoy it as a gift from God. Some have excellent minds but have never learned that the very use of their mind is a gift from God. Some have opportunity to do exciting things and go to many places, and still lack the understanding that what we have is a gift from God. We are such a generation of complainers that we forget to recognize that God not only gives us gifts but He also gives us the capacity to enjoy them. The futility and grievousness of un-enjoyed things is worse than the tragedy of being stillborn (vv. 3-6). Solomon concludes his discourse on the futility of toil (7-9) by recommending that a person be content with what he has rather than constantly longing for more.
Solomon said that the nature and essence of everything that exists, including people, was foreordained long ago (vv. 10-12). This section is characterized by many imperatives, recommendations, and commendations that “X” is better than “Y.” If man could really see what God is going to do with us six months or a year from now, or in five years, we might not want to live beyond tomorrow. Man is ignorant of what is best for him to do and what the future holds. His days are few and pass like a shadow.
No human knows the future so each day I need to live it for the Lord. How foolish it is for me to contend with my Creator who knows me completely and can see my future (Jeremiah 18:6).
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View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8Everything Has Its Time
Ecclesiastes 3:9-22From Dust to Dust
Ecclesiastes 4:1-16The Evils of Oppression
Ecclesiastes 5:1-7Keep Your Vows
Ecclesiastes 5:8-20God Alone Gives Contentment
Ecclesiastes 6:1-12Enjoyment of Life is a Gift from God
Ecclesiastes 7:1-14The Contrast of Wisdom And Folly
Ecclesiastes 7:15-29Practical Wisdom
Ecclesiastes 8:1-17Keep The Kings Command
Ecclesiastes 9:1-10Everything is In The Hands of God
Ecclesiastes 9:11-18Better to Be Wise Than Foolish