Wisdom of Marion Vol 1.32 (Ecclesiates 9:1-18)

by | Jun 26, 2011 | Study of Ecclesiastes, Wisdom From Kammbia Column | 2 comments

9th Study: Ecclesiastes 9:1-18

Chapter 9 opens with Solomon writing about the inevitability of death for all of us. Whether you are a righteous and upstanding believer or an atheist; whether you are black or white; whether you are male or female…death is one per person.

Maybe this is one of the reasons that the book of Ecclesiastes is not popular in modern American Christianity. (Have you ever seen verses from Ecclesiastes in the popular daily devotionals?)  Solomon writes about the one thing that most Americans tend to avoid.

I must admit I don’t like to talk about death.  It’s scary to even think about it.  However, when my father passed away in 2004…it started to really sink in that death could happen to me at some point in my life.  Hmmm….

Pastor Meyers writes this about it:

Now we are reminded of the chief manifestation of the hebel-ness, the vaporous character of human existence: death, together with all the frustration one experiences in the face of the great leveler. Life is best lived not by denying the reality of death, but by understanding one’s place in this life and living by faith.

All mortals face the common curse of evil under the sun; this is most pointedly obvious in the inescapability of death. Solomon is centered on how life can be lived in the face of this great evil.  Solomon is clear that death is not to be preferred to life. {9:5} He is advocating a vigorous engagement with life, not a stoic resignation to the inevitability of fate.  {pp. 174-175}

The last part of the preceding paragraph is important. We are to have a vigorous engagement with life.  God wants to enjoy life while we are living.  Yes, life can be difficult and challenging.  But, I believe sometimes so many Christians are preoccupied with heaven and the next life to come that they lose a sense of reality from what’s in front of and around them.

Ecclesiastes 9 shows us the complete opposite to that kind of thinking. Here’s verse 7 to prove it:

Go eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already approved what you do.  {ESV}

One of my favorite things to do is to have dinner with my wife and a group of friends.  I enjoy the interaction of talking with several couples about their lives, what we are eating or drinking ( I enjoy wine with my meals), and even discuss politics or religion.

Even though I’m a loner by nature….I enjoy having those dinners to connect with people and I can learn so much about human nature in those interactions.

I must admit when I first became a Christian, I thought I had to give up that part of my life and I attended a church that you made feel guilty about everything that it didn’t agree with how the pastor though his congregation should live their lives.

Well, I’m grateful that the Bible has a book like Ecclesiastes in the canon to show that God really wants us to enjoy life and that we must trust him to handle the big issues in our lives.

I want to finish this week’s study by these words from Pastor Meyers:

Solomon is telling us that it is God’s will in Christ that we enjoy the basic provisions of life that he has given us. He is the one who provides them for us. He accepts–indeed, commands–our participation in the enjoyment of life, food, marriage, and work. So go ahead and do as God would want! Eat, drink, love, and work. God has accepted these activities. The mark of a biblical wise man or woman is that despite the many painful issues in life—namely, death–the wise are able to enjoy life as a gift of God. They know when pleasure and feasting and love are appropriate.

There is a great deal of unholy prudery in the church. I’m going to say it plainly. Christian spouses are supposed to enjoy life by enjoying sex with each other and all the other blessings of marriage. Solomon is not giving us some form of hedonistic nihilism here. He is not saying eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die. He is saying we should receive the good things in life as gifts from God because that is what they are.  {pp.178-179}

See you next week!

I have one question for you think about from this week’s study:

1) Do you think there’s an unholy prudery in the church? If so, why is that?


  1. Jessica Thomas

    I’m with you. I like Ecclesiastes, though I can see why it confuses some. Meaningless, everything is meaningless. I’ve been there, so I get it. I’ve been to that place where life seems meaningless to the point where you have to start searching for the true meaning, which is found in God.

    • kammbia1

      Jessica, thanks for the reply.

      However, I believe Ecclesiastes is more about book of faith as well as a book of wisdom. I believe people are thrown off by Solomon writing is meaningless a lot….but there’s a lot more in the book than that.

      I truly believe it’s the book for our postmodern age.


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