My son Jake told me that if I lived past 35, I will have won the game of life and would then be free to die. I pointed out that I am 41. He matter-of-factly stated that I was now free to die, but that he and his brother still had to play the game, as they had not reached the winning age yet. Such a simple viewpoint forced me into some not-so-simple thoughts. Am I okay with dying? Am I okay with my wife and children dying? What do I want to accomplish while I am here? For what do I want to be remembered? And finally, what’s the point of all of this?
- In what ways do you question or wrestle with life?
Read the Word
Ecclesiastes 3:9-15 (ESV)
9 What gain has the worker from his toil? 10 I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. 12 I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live;13 also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God's gift to man.
14 I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before him. 15 That which is, already has been; that which is to be, already has been; and God seeks what has been driven away.
- What word did Solomon use to describe our work (vs. 9)?
- What did Solomon tell us to do regarding our toil, and how should we view this pleasure (vs. 13)?
- How do verses 10-11 speak to the sovereignty of God and our limited understanding? Describe God’s plan for your life, if you can.
- How long does God’s plan endure (vs. 14)? Can it be changed?
- Do you fear this temporary, earthbound life or do you fear the sovereign God more (vs. 14)?
Respond to God
The only meaningful plan that has ever existed is the sovereign plan of God. So why worry? Solomon tells us not to waste time fretting about today or tomorrow, but to fear God and find freedom in his plan, created at the beginning of time. Count the freedom of his holy plan as a gift, and rest in knowing we cannot change it.
- Pray you find refreshment, peace, and transcending joy in Solomon’s message. Allow yourself to feel the freedom God’s plan provides.