Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Eccl. 9:1-6

v. 1-6 "So I reflected on all this and concluded that the righteous and the wise and what they do are in God's hands, but no man knows whether love or hate awaits him.  All share a common destiny-the righteous and the wicked, the good and the bad, the clean and the unclean, those who offer sacrifices and those who do not. 

As it is with the good man,
so with the sinner;
as it is with those who take oaths,
so with those who are afraid to take them. 

This is the evil in everything that happens under the sun: The same destiny overtakes all.  The hearts of men, moreover, are full of evil and there is madness in their hearts while they live, and afterward they join the dead.  Anyone who is among the living has hope-even a live dog is better than a dead lion!

For the living know that they will die,
but the dead know nothing;
they have no further reward,
and even the memory of them is forgotten.
Their love, their hate
and their jealousy have long since vanished;
never again will they have a part
in anything that happens under the sun."

This is Solomon's final conclusion.  The part where it says "no man knows whether love or hate awaits him" I had to look up other versions to see what I thought that meant.  At first I thought that was odd, don't we know if love or hate awaits us?  Then I start to think of the many who have used God's name to do terrible things, they must think they are immune from judgment.  We can not determine whether someone will be in the Book of Life or not.  We do not see people's hearts and even if we did, we could not judge them accordingly.   I like what the Complete Jewish Bible has to say, "I applied myself to all of this, sifted through it and concluded that the righteous and the wise, along with their deeds, are in God’s hands — a person cannot know whether these people and deeds will be rewarded with love or with hatred; all options are open."  This version seems to look at this situation as if looking on humanity as a whole and as an individual. 

It almost seems that there is no difference in good and evil people, the end result is the same.  This can be a dangerous gamble to think it's ok to do what we want here on earth.  All will be met by death, not all will be given eternal life.  I believe this only talks about death, not our eternal home.  Death is just an end, then it will be decided where we will call home.  We have multiple chances to redirect our lives, but once we are gone it will be over.  You can probably guess that I am not a big fan of being frozen to come alive again at a later date or anything of that sort.  It's entertaining to watch in the movies, but that is not a feasible option.  Why would I want to come back here instead of going to heaven? 

"Though, on this side death, the righteous and the wicked seem alike, on the other side death there will be a vast difference between them."  Matthew Henry

We all have a common destiny, but not all will lead a common life.

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