Week Three – Day 2 – Ecclesiastes 3:16 – 22 – SOAP v 16-17
16 Moreover, I saw under the sun that in the place of justice, even there was wickedness, and in the place of righteousness, even there was wickedness. 17 I said in my heart, God will judge the righteous and the wicked, for there is a time for every matter and for every work. 18 I said in my heart with regard to the children of man that God is testing them that they may see that they themselves are but beasts. 19 For what happens to the children of man and what happens to the beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts, for all is vanity. 20 All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to dust all return. 21 Who knows whether the spirit of man goes upward and the spirit of the beast goes down into the earth? 22 So I saw that there is nothing better than that a man should rejoice in his work, for that is his lot. Who can bring him to see what will be after him?
O – Solomon says, humanly, there is not a place of justice. Man, left on his own, cannot provide the wisdom for justice – either there is wickedness in a place of justice, and wickedness even in the place of righteousness. Man just cannot provide the wisdom or the “rightness” to judge! Only GOD can provide that. HE will judge both the wicked and the righteous (at the end of time?) So, in Solomon, man isn’t any better than the animals – we both end up in the same way – we die and become part of the dust of the earth. Even IF man “goes upward” (heaven?) and animals just die, we still end up dead! So – in Solomon’s mind, we are to enjoy the time that we are on earth – because who knows what will happen in the end….. Solomon does realize that only God can be the true judge of man – and HE will judge in the end. He also realizes that man is mortal, and life here on this earth will come to an end – just like the other creatures of the earth. BUT, hopefully, man will realize this – and know that without God – we are just like the animals. We all die. (NIV study Bible – Death is the great leveler of all living things.)
A – How do we continue to apply all this negativity and futility? I think that we need to realize, that without God, we are nothing. Yes, we all die. All men, short of eternity and Christ’s return, will die. But, we need to take Solomon’s views a step further. We DO need to make the most of the time that we DO have on earth. It is having a view of eternity – and knowing that there is a finite amount of time that we have to live. So – make it worth while! (Again – Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.) But, it is also realizing that our hope cannot rest on our efforts, or our work, or our collecting of “stuff.” Our hope is eternal – built on the hope that we have in Christ. “On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand” (think – vanity, shifting in the wind….) Yes – ON CHRIST I STAND! It does not matter what goes on around me, my circumstances – but to “wholly lean on Jesus’ name.”
P – Father God, only in You is true hope. Thank You for sending Jesus Christ to die for my sins, so that I may KNOW that I have eternal life. Life here on earth is not futile, but full of meaning and hope. Thank You. You are Jehovah Jireh, my Provider. Thank You for providing all that is needed for life here. It IS full. Help me to live today in that hope – and to share Your love with those I encounter.
My Hope is Built on Nothing Less – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkMapZB8qMk
1 My hope is built on nothing less
than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid rock, I stand;
all other ground is sinking sand,
all other ground is sinking sand.
2 When darkness veils his lovely face,
I rest on his unchanging grace;
in every high and stormy gale,
my anchor holds within the veil. [Refrain]
3 His oath, his covenant, his blood
support me in the whelming flood;
when all around my soul gives way,
he then is all my hope and stay. [Refrain]
4 When he shall come with trumpet sound,
O may I then in him be found,
dressed in his righteousness alone,
faultless to stand before the throne. [Refrain]