Ecclesiastes 9:1-12 If there is one thing which youth almost never think about, it is dying. Young people think they are immortal and will never die. Listen to them talk, “Die! Who, me? What are you talking about? I’m going to live and have fun!”
But just as surely as you were born, you will die. Some people refuse to go to funerals acting like, if they ignore death, it will go away and leave them alone. Death is the one word we all hate. We invent all kinds of gentle, dainty words to disguise it and to keep from having to speak it. We speak of the dead and say, “They passed away,” “They departed,” or, “They went to heaven.” Of course, this is all true, if they were Christians and had faith in God. But remember, Solomon is writing about a life lived without God or eternity. This is “life under the sun.” If there is no God, then death is the greatest of mankind’s troubles. It is the ultimate mystery!
There was nothing you could do to prepare yourself for your birth, but there is much you can do to prepare yourself for death. The way we respond to death separates us from the rest of the animal world and is another of the greatest proofs of the existence of God and eternity.
Death is the great equalizer of life. It comes to all of us whether we are smart or foolish, good or bad, rich or poor. No one can avoid death. We hate death and fight it with a passion, but ultimately, this enemy of life finally wins and we die. I Corinthians 15:26 One of the main reasons we hate death is that it reminds us we are not in control of our lives. No sane person wants to die; we want to live. We fill our lives with all kinds of illusions that tell us we are in charge of our lives and can do what we want to do. But when we face death, we must face the fact that we do not have the last word. We are so helpless in the face of death.
Death also shows us it is evil in our hearts. How crazy it is for us to live as we will never die when we all know that death is coming. We go on living like there is no tomorrow without making any preparations for our future. It is madness to live in sin when you know that one day this life will end and you will die. To make no preparations for death is the height of folly. Ecclesiastes 9:3
One of the greatest differences between the living and the dead is hope. Those who are alive have hope of a better life, of a good reward, and a part in the future, but those who are dead cannot change anything. Their die is cast! Solomon uses the greatest comparisons in the animal world to show how much better life is than death. It is better to be a despised dog that is alive than to be a dead lion, though you are called, “king of the beasts.” Ecclesiastes 9:4
Again Solomon instructs us to enjoy our days. Don’t sit around and worry about things you cannot control. God has shown His approval of your works by the food and drink you have. Enjoy them! Learn to celebrate every day as a gift from God, by being thankful for the simplest things in life. Ecclesiastes 9:7
Joy is doubled when it is shared with someone you love. Of course, you will find problems in this life, but we should learn to emphasize our blessings instead of our burdens. Happiness is a choice of our hearts. Every day can be a holiday if we choose to look for things we can rejoice about and then share them with the people we love. Ecclesiastes 9:9
Work is not a curse, but a blessing to the living. One of the requirements to living a happy life is doing rewarding work. Ecclesiastes 9:10
What kind of work should you do? Whatever work is available and you are gifted to do. You are not going to be happy sitting around complaining about what you don’t like. Get busy and do what you can and before you know it, you will be enjoying the fruit of your labor.
How should you work? Work with all of your might. Give your job your best effort. Be in competition with yourself to do a better job than you ever have before and learn the grand feeling of a job well done.
Why should you work? Because death is coming and once it arrives your opportunity to make your world a better place is gone forever. This is your chance. Give it your best shot! Find something to do to make life worth living.