11. ECCLESIASTES & SONG OF SONGS

Lesson 129: Ecclesiastes 7:20…

Ecclesiastes 7:20 Indeed, there is no one on earth who is righteous, no one who does what is right and never sins. 

This idea is so important that it is repeated several times throughout the Bible. Who can say, I have kept my heart pure; I am clean and without sin? (Proverbs 20:9). [A]ll have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). And, If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us (1 John 1:8). We are not sinners because we sin, we sin because we are sinners.

But this was not always the case. Our first parents were free from sin until they ate the forbidden fruit (Genesis 3:6). At that point, human nature became so corrupt that every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood (Genesis 8:21), wrote Moses. Now we are sinners by nature and by choice. It is who we are and what we do.

But Jesus Christ is saving us. We have been saved from the penalty of sin (John 5:24). We are being saved from the power of sin (1 Corinthians 1:18). And we will be saved from the presence of sin (Revelation 21:27). [Y]ou are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins (Matthew 1:21), said the angel.

Ecclesiastes 8:8 [N]o one has power over the time of their death

A normal life-span, according to the Bible, is between seventy and eighty years (Psalm 90:10). But these are not guaranteed. Some are cut down by war, others by disease, and others in surprising ways. 

One man thought he was safe in bed when an airplane crashed through his roof. Another was driving his car, when a deer jumped through his window, and punctured his neck with an antler. Another was standing in his own front yard, when he was struck by lightning. Instead of trying to live longer, we should prepare to meet our Maker.

Ecclesiastes 9:10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.

Live is a gift from God, and he does not want us to live half-heartedly. He sets a task before us, and wants us to do it with vigor. God is honored when we live to the fullest, serving him with all our might.

If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well (Martin Luther King Jr.).

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord (Colossians 3:23), wrote Paul. 

Ecclesiastes 9:11 The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.

We naturally think the fastest person is the one who wins the race, the strongest person is the one who wins the battle, and the smartest are those who become rich. But this is not always true. 

The fastest person on earth might live in a remote village, unknown to the rest of the world. The best soldier might die from a sniper’s bullet, and the most brilliant might be poor if the world is not ready for their ideas. 

Only when God matches our gifts with the right opportunities will we encounter success. When we understand that gifts and opportunities are both from God, we will give him all the glory and keep none for ourselves. 

Ecclesiastes 10:18 Through laziness, the rafters sag; because of idle hands, the house leaks.

This is not the only place the Bible condemns laziness. Sluggards do not plow in season; so at harvest time they look but find nothing (Proverbs 20:4). Likewise, A little sleep, a little slumber . . . and poverty will come on you like a thief (Proverbs 24:33-34), says Proverbs.

But the greatest condemnation of laziness came from Jesus Christ himself. You wicked, lazy servant! . . . throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 25:30), he said. From this we learn that people should not be lazy, especially regarding the  kingdom of God.

An old farmer died and willed everything he owned to the devil. The town agreed to honor his wish by doing nothing with his possessions. Years later, the house was broken down, the tractor was rusted through, and the field was covered with weeds. If you want to give your life to the devil, do little or nothing with it.

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil. 

Some sins are open for everyone to see; others wait for Judgment Day. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known (Luke 12:2), said Jesus. 

One lady stole some cigarettes, when she was eighteen years old, and failed to pay the court. Twenty-two years later she was getting off a cruise ship when she was arrested and thrown in jail. Officials were looking for a terrorist, but when they saw the warrant for her arrest, they simply did their job. Whoever believes in Jesus Christ will not be condemned (Romans 8:1), but every hidden thing will be disclosed.

Reflection and Review
How long should we plan to live? 
Why is it wrong to be lazy?
Why should Christians care about Judgment Day?