Ecclesiastes 9:1-12 – We All Die

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It’s sad to think about those people who share Solomon’s mindset in terms of death. They see death as the end–so you better live it up while you have breath! How tragic. No wonder so many people fear death.

When we experience death of a loved one, the mourning can be one of the hardest things we ever go through. I think of several friends who have lost their spouses in the last couple years. In each case, grief has taken a toll on these faithful people. Thankfully, God’s word is packed with passages to help us find hope, peace, and strength.

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Ecclesiastes 8:9-17 – Good versus Evil

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Solomon’s laments are familiar to us. We have more than likely at some time in our life wondered why the people who lie, cheat, and do wicked things are alive and well, and even prosperous. Yet, our reward for doing good and striving to be more like Jesus has left us being abused by society while stretching every cent to pay the bills.

The evil one’s plan is masterful. He’s trying to make the grass look greener over on the other side, the wicked side. If we are experiencing oppression for our faith or just hearing of others going through such ridicule, the lures of the evil one can be enticing. That’s why it’s so important to stand firmly on the truth of God’s word.

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Ecclesiastes 8:2-8 – Obedience

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Who do you obey? Solomon was the third of Israel’s kings, and he would counsel us to obey the king. Does that tell us that people were unruly and not respectful in his day? When I read these words, I thought immediately of King Jesus because that’s who I obey. I don’t think Solomon was referring to God here, however.

For now, I’m going to focus my reflection on obedience to our reigning king, Jesus. He is certainly “backed by great power.” God’s power is without limit. Solomon speaks of death, too, and that segues nicely when we think of the power that raised Jesus from the dead.

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Ecclesiastes 7:15-8:1 – Limits on Wisdom

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What an interesting passage coming from one of the wisest men ever. Solomon’s wisdom was a gift from God, yet there were limitations. Today we can tap into God’s wisdom when we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us. God is the source of all wisdom, for which there is no limit. We should be grateful for the wisdom God allows be revealed to us.

Solomon continues to struggle with his wisdom. Sometimes when we let our minds wander, we can end up in some unusual places. It seems that is what is happening to Solomon through this whole book. We have all seen things that don’t make sense or seem fair in this world. How do you handle those situations?

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Ecclesiastes 7:14 – This is Not Proverbs

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Solomon gives us “proverb-like” nuggets of wisdom here. However, I have to say that some of his tips don’t seem that wise to me. Keeping the perspective of when he was writing these thoughts down is helpful to me. Solomon had been exposed to countless false teachings from his many pagan wives. Plus, he didn’t have the promise of salvation we know in Jesus.

When we put our “redemption lens” on this passage, it’s easy for us to clear up some of Solomon’s concerns. I’d rather focus today on several of the observations Solomon got right. Having discussions on each of these points would be fun in a small group, don’t you think?

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