Ecclesiastes 9 (New Living Translation)
Death Comes to All
1 This, too, I carefully explored: Even though the actions of godly and wise people are in God’s hands, no one knows whether God will show them favor. 2The same destiny ultimately awaits everyone, whether righteous or wicked, good or bad, ceremonially clean or unclean, religious or irreligious. Good people receive the same treatment as sinners, and people who make promises to God are treated like people who don’t. 3 It seems so tragic that everyone under the sun suffers the same fate. That is why people are not more careful to be good. Instead, they choose their own mad course, for they have no hope. There is nothing ahead but death anyway. 4 There is hope only for the living. As they say, “It’s better to be a live dog than a dead lion!”
Ah, but there is something ahead beyond death:
John 5:25-29 (English Standard Version)
“Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.”
5 The living at least know they will die, but the dead know nothing. They have no further reward, nor are they remembered. 6 Whatever they did in their lifetime—loving, hating, envying—is all long gone. They no longer play a part in anything here on earth.
7 So go ahead. Eat your food with joy, and drink your wine with a happy heart, for God approves of this! 8 Wear fine clothes, with a splash of cologne!
Psalm 118:24 (King James Version)
This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
HERE are the Maranatha! Singers and “Give Thanks.”
9 Live happily with the woman you love through all the meaningless days of life that God has given you under the sun. The wife God gives you is your reward for all your earthly toil. 10 Whatever you do, do well.
1 Corinthians 10:31 (NLT)
So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
For when you go to the grave, there will be no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom.
11 I have observed something else under the sun. The fastest runner doesn’t always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn’t always win the battle. The wise sometimes go hungry, and the skillful are not necessarily wealthy. And those who are educated don’t always lead successful lives. It is all decided by chance, by being in the right place at the right time.
12 People can never predict when hard times might come. Like fish in a net or birds in a trap, people are caught by sudden tragedy.
Thoughts on Wisdom and Folly
13 Here is another bit of wisdom that has impressed me as I have watched the way our world works. 14 There was a small town with only a few people, and a great king came with his army and besieged it. 15 A poor, wise man knew how to save the town, and so it was rescued. But afterward no one thought to thank him. 16So even though wisdom is better than strength, those who are wise will be despised if they are poor. What they say will not be appreciated for long.
17 Better to hear the quiet words of a wise person
than the shouts of a foolish king.
18 Better to have wisdom than weapons of war,
but one sinner can destroy much that is good.
Our society honors wealth, attractiveness, and success above wisdom. Yet wisdom is a greater asset than strength, although it is often unrecognized by the masses. Even though it is more effective, wisdom is not always heard, and wise people often go unheeded. From this parable we can learn to be receptive to wisdom, no matter who it comes from.
–notes from The Life Application Bible
New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
Images courtesy of:
stairway to Heaven. http://blog.mlive.com/helmtolee/2009/04/large_StairwayToHeaven-D-4d.jpg
Eat your food with rejoicing. https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/e5/c8/8e/e5c88e9d7e7a923ed5bb63127683a327.jpg
Start each day . . . http://27.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lm3i8rNua81qab193o1_400.jpg
Ecclesiastes 9:10. http://reformedoutfitters.com/wp-content/themes/editorial/functions/thumb.php?src=wp-content/uploads/2011/11/hand-might-2-1024×640.jpg&w=606&h=&zc=1&q=90
Never assume. https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/fe/05/e1/fe05e1e0a08f6d3609beeab9c8b921f0.jpg