Ecclesiastes 3:16-22

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, March 2, 2020 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

While we know that everything has its season in God’s plan and we are able to discover our purpose with God’s help, we also need to remember that everything isn’t always sunshine and rainbows as our passage today from Ecclesiastes 3:16-22 tells us. Evil does exist in this world, and we are mortal beings too.

Sadly, where we would expect to see judgment and justice, we see wickedness instead (verse 16). The people who are in power should be the ones to make justice a reality, but all people are selfish because of original sin. Wickedness takes the place of what should be right ruling over other people. But as believers in Jesus, we know that God will ultimately judge everyone, and those who do wicked things and don’t have faith in God will be given their ultimate consequences (verse 17). We will all be held accountable to God.

Next, for the rest of today’s passage, the Teacher turns to thoughts on mortality. First, he explains the similarities between us humans and the animals (verses 18-19). We all have the breath of life, but we will all die. He reiterates that in this way, everything is again meaningless because we’ll all die someday. Both humans and animals have bodies that are made of organic materials that will eventually decay and return to dust (verse 20).

So since we’re all going to die someday, verse 22 tells us, “So I saw that there is nothing better for a person than to enjoy their work, because that is their lot. For who can bring them to see what will happen after them?” This brings us back to the beginning of chapter 3 where we see that everything has its appointed season, even death. Knowing that God is in control of all our times and seasons means we should do our best to enjoy whatever season we’re in, as that is what God has called us to. We have no idea what will happen in the future, whether the immediate future or in the long run. We can’t count on having a certain number of days to do the work that God has called us to do, so we must make the most of each day that He has given us.

Death can be a difficult topic to discuss or even think about. But the Bible does talk about death (and life) quite a bit; find out more here. The important thing to remember is that there are two types of death that each person experiences - our physical death and our spiritual death.

It is certain that we’ll all experience physical death. For some, it may come early in life; others may live to be very old. That’s for God to determine. But at some point, our physical bodies will stop working, whether due to disease, injury, or simply worn out parts and old age. We may be able to postpone death by having good health and getting medical treatment when we’re sick or injured, but we can never postpone it permanently. Just like the animals, we humans will all die a physical death.

Spiritual death is much different, and we have more of a choice in this matter. Because of the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we have the opportunity to spiritually die with Him so that we can have eternal life with Him forever. But to do that, we need to live in a manner that we’re dead to sin but alive in Christ. When we die spiritually by confessing our sins and having faith in Jesus’ amazing sacrifice, we also come alive spiritually! We can’t stay dead when we’re in Jesus. For more on that, check out Romans 6.

We will all be judged, but if we have faith in Jesus, then God will look at us in light of Jesus’ perfect life, not seeing the sins that have plagued us during our time on earth. Jesus lived that perfect and sinless life that He knew we would never be able to live, and that is why His sacrifice is a worthy one to take the place of our messed up and meaningless lives.

Knowing that we will all die physically is a pretty depressing thought, especially when we think about our loved ones who will likely die that physical death before we do. But knowing that we can be spiritually alive after we die gives us hope! Our life on earth is not meaningless when we have faith in Jesus. The things of this world may not have ultimate meaning, but when we live our lives for Christ and His purposes, then that is the best purpose we could ever experience.

Whether you’ve thought about death much or not, and whether you know your time on this earth is short or if you think you have many years yet to come, know that God is ultimately in control of that. Listen to His guidance for your life, both for the big picture and the little details of your life, so that you’re living for His purposes by faith and will experience eternal life with Him forever.

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