The Theology of Ecclesiastes (4)


Yesterday, we saw the importance of a balanced approach to enjoying the material blessings God gives us. Today, we’re going to see that God’s holds us accountable for our sins.

Bible Reading

(Ecc 2:26) For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that is good before God. This also is vanity and vexation of spirit.

(Ecc 3:15) That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past. (Ecc 3:16) And moreover I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was there; and the place of righteousness, that iniquity was there. (Ecc 3:17) I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.

(Ecc 7:18) It is good that thou shouldest take hold of this; yea, also from this withdraw not thine hand: for he that feareth God shall come forth of them all.

(Ecc 8:12) Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him: (Ecc 8:13) But it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he prolong his days, which are as a shadow; because he feareth not before God.

(Ecc 9:1) For all this I considered in my heart even to declare all this, that the righteous, and the wise, and their works, are in the hand of God: no man knoweth either love or hatred by all that is before them.

(Ecc 11:9) Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment.

God Rewards the Good and Punishes the Evil.

Solomon saw God as the ultimate Judge – rewarding the good and punishing the evil. These are certainly common ideas, in the Bible and in the world. He rewards the good man with wisdom, knowledge and joy. He gives the sinner travail. The sinner gathers to give to the saint.

Solomon also acknowledged that God’s judgment didn’t fall immediately upon the guilty. God has a time for judgment and a purpose in His delays. Even though God might allow sinners to abound in their sin and live long lives, in the end it will be better to be a saint than a sinner.

Ecclesiastes 9:1 may be one of the most important verses in the book. It presents an idea that many Christians miss. Solomon said that you can’t discern the love of God, or His displeasure, by what is before you. A godly man might lose his job and it doesn’t mean that God hates him. A wicked man might get rich, but it doesn’t mean that God is pleased with his lifestyle. God has declared His love for His children. Our circumstances say nothing about God’s love for us. (See Romans 8:28-39)

What About You?

  • Do you believe that God will ultimately judge the good and the evil?
  • Do you live with the judgment of God in mind?
  • Do you understand that you can’t decide from your circumstances whether or not God loves you?

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