TOPIC: Accept Life As God’s Gift And Enjoy It In God’s Will
TEXT: Ecclesiastes 2:12-26(NKJV)
12. Then I turned myself to consider wisdom and madness and folly; For what [can] the man [do] who succeeds the king? — [Only] what he has already done.
13. Then I saw that wisdom excels folly As light excels darkness.
14. The wise man’s eyes [are] in his head, But the fool walks in darkness. Yet I myself perceived That the same event happens to them all.
15. So I said in my heart, “As it happens to the fool, It also happens to me, And why was I then more wise?” Then I said in my heart, “This also [is] vanity.”
16. For [there is] no more remembrance of the wise than of the fool forever, Since all that now [is] will be forgotten in the days to come. And how does a wise [man] die? As the fool!
17. Therefore I hated life because the work that was done under the sun [was] distressing to me, for all [is] vanity and grasping for the wind.
18. Then I hated all my labor in which I had toiled under the sun, because I must leave it to the man who will come after me.
19. And who knows whether he will be wise or a fool? Yet he will rule over all my labor in which I toiled and in which I have shown myself wise under the sun. This also [is] vanity.
20. Therefore I turned my heart and despaired of all the labor in which I had toiled under the sun.
21. For there is a man whose labor [is] with wisdom, knowledge, and skill; yet he must leave his heritage to a man who has not labored for it. This also [is] vanity and a great evil.
22. For what has man for all his labor, and for the striving of his heart with which he has toiled under the sun?
23. For all his days [are] sorrowful, and his work burdensome; even in the night his heart takes no rest. This also is vanity.
24. Nothing [is] better for a man [than] that he should eat and drink, and [that] his soul should enjoy good in his labor. This also, I saw, was from the hand of God.
25. For who can eat, or who can have enjoyment, more than I?
26. For [God] gives wisdom and knowledge and joy to a man who [is] good in His sight; but to the sinner He gives the work of gathering and collecting, that he may give to [him who is] good before God. This also [is] vanity and grasping for the wind.
STUDY: It appears that Solomon hated life in this passage. First in verses 12-17, he mused that since both the wise man and the fool will die, then what is the value of wisdom? He further said that we can leave our wisdom and wealth for the guidance and use of the next generation, but how can we be sure they will value them? Second, after both the wise man and the fool die, they are forgotten (v.16). In other words, he found out that one cannot keep his wealth (v.18), cannot protect it (vs. 19-20), and cannot enjoy it as he/she should (vs. 21-23). He therefore concluded that he was disgusted with life, although he was not contemplating suicide. Of course, he would not have wanted to leave all the good life behind.
The healthy Christian believer certainly would not hate life, no matter how difficult the situations might be. What gives him/her the ability to ‘love life’ and live it happily? 1 Peter 3:10, quoted from Psalms 34:12 ff gives believers the secret of putting the most into life and getting the most out of it. Life becomes worthwhile when we live it to glorify God. First, we live to please Him by not hurting our fellow humans, and second, through living by the promises of God in faith, and expecting better things to come as we journey on in life, even in eternity. Knowing that our life is not lived in vain in the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:58) drives us on to live it to glorify God. We may not enjoy everything in life, or be able to explain everything about life- that is not important. Accept life as God presents it to you and enjoy it, in obedience to His will.
PRAYER: Lord, I thank You for the life You have given me. I shall live it for Your glory and honour till the end, in Jesus’ name. Amen
DAILY QUOTE:“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for in Yah, the Lord, is everlasting strength.” (Isaiah 26:3)
Daily Fountain Devotional 18 September 2020 – The Church of Nigeria is the Anglican church in Nigeria. It is the second-largest province in the Anglican Communion, as measured by baptized membership, after the Church of England. It gives its current membership as “over 18 million”, out of a total Nigerian population of over 200 million.