"Man, in his End, Personal Inspection."
Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's
Ecclesiastes 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."
We have see from the last chapter that wisdom is the greatest thing that you can have or inherit. It directs everything that you do, and guides you in the paths that you take. Wisdom even allows you to see into the future. Wisdom is the understanding of God's Ways from His Word. Wisdom allows you to use common sense in whatever you do. A good chapter to study in connection with wisdom, is the entire chapter of Proverbs 8.
So after we have considered that all men are going to die, there is a divine intervention in the lives of those that practice wisdom, and love and trust in God. That is the secret to happiness, knowing the limits of the flesh, and the power that we have in the wisdom of God. It is through repentance to the Father in Christ that we find the freedom, and are overcomers.
After Solomon had considered all this in his mind, even to write it in this book, that the righteous and the wise, and everything that they do, is in the hand of God. God sees it, remembers it, and rewards men and women for those works done in the flesh.
Man is not the object here, but man is the subject. You must understand that man in the physical never knows what he will love or hate, until after he has tasted and tested it for himself. Once the five sense of flesh man has sampled of what ever it is, then his or her mind tell the flesh man that walks under the sun if it is good or bad, right for him or wrong. Each man is different in his likes and dislikes.
When we love God, and follow his ways, then God judges whether what we do, like or dislike, is right or wrong, for God judges our minds and consciences. Thus He knows the intent of our mind, and our works are in His hand. We are not talking about God loving and hating, but man in the flesh, loving and hating, and God viewing that action of man.
Ecclesiastes 9:2 "All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him that sacrificeth, and to him that sacrificeth not: as is the good, so is the sinner; and he that sweareth, as he that feareth an oath."
What this is saying, is that whether you are a righteous person, or wicked, good or bad, clean or unclean, there is something that will happen to all people in the flesh.
Ecclesiastes 9:3 "This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event unto all: yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead."
That event that happens to all men and women, including children, at times, and that event is that all flesh will die. The wicked and evil persons may think that they are getting away with much, but the time will come when they too will die and meet their maker. The wise person, that knows the Lord, understands also that he is going to die, only he knows what comes after death. While these persons are living in the flesh they have prepared themselves of that time of death.
The wise man , who is in the Lord, knows the times and seasons of this flesh life, and this time of death is not a day to fear, but one of victory for the soul. Death is only the first step into the eternity, and if you have served Him, it is a step into the rewards that the Father has waiting for you.
To the others, it becomes a step into real trouble, on the road to hell fire. Solomon is say that this is emptiness just looking for that day of death, for what is important is every day that you have life within you, you can work for God while in the flesh. Separate if you can, the flesh from the soul, on this matter. As far as the flesh is concerned, it exists only for a brief span of time, then it is gone to dust.
Ecclesiastes 9:4 "For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion."
To be joined to all the living, means that there is still life to your flesh body. As long as you are in the flesh, there is hope for forgiveness, and the things of flesh still applies to you. But at death, you are separated from the living, and your soul is no longer part of this flesh age, nor any thing that applies to it. The flesh is dust of the earth, and your soul and spirit has passed on to the higher level of thinking, where faith doesn't apply. There is no longer hope in Christ, for you are there in His presence, the hope of your salvation is applied while you are in the flesh body, for you take what is sight unseen, and place your existence upon that faith.
The whole idea that it was evil that both the righteous and wicked would die, and it didn't make any difference was man's thought. Because when God considers your work for Him done in this flesh life, you don't die, only the flesh dies. This is true wisdom, understanding the death of the flesh, but not of the soul.
Looking at the dog and the lion, considers only the life within each animal. In the animal world the lion is considered at the top, while the dog is at the bottom. It is looking at life within the animal; when the spirit life is gone, then the flesh is worthless because it contains no life. It was the life that made the animal of value.
Ecclesiastes 9:5 "For the living know that they shall die; but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten."
This really can throw some people, when they think that this is talking about no rewards after death. This whole book is talking about only the flesh body, the man that lives under the sun. When any person dies, they are through with this old flesh body, and it has only one purpose, to be placed in the ground to decay. The body returns to dust. The precious person that you once knew has departed that physical body at death, and went immediately to be with the Father that sent that soul into the embryo at conception. It was the soul and the spirit of the person that you loved, and not the flesh.
When you go to see the final viewing of that person's body, the soul is missing and you can feel the emptiness of spirit that once was there, as you view the body that is in the process of decay. To the Christian, this is a time of rejoicing, for that person's soul is in the presence of the Father, and it is a time for rewards. Though living in the flesh is not considered the same for all people, but it is a requirement of God for each soul.
It was in God plan that all souls must be born of woman, and many times people misquote John 3:3 as to being "born again", which should read, "born from above". You are born from above when your soul enters the embryo at birth. We all have to live in the flesh and be tested in the flesh.
There is one group that was going to try to get around that, and it is discussed in Jude 1-6. Rather then have their soul born through woman, they left their habitation, in the heavenlies against God's will, and took woman to seduce. This is also talked about in Genesis 6:1-8. Therefore, by side stepping God's plan they are already condemned to death of their soul. They never did have the flesh to die, and their death is the death of their soul and spirit.
So flesh is flesh, and once that flesh is dead there is no more use for it, it is left to return to the dust.
Ecclesiastes 9:6 "Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun."
All activity of life that once dwelt within that dead body is also gone. All those things that you liked and disliked within a person, the smile, and soothing spirit of the person just isn't there any more. This then takes reincarnation and puts it to rest for ever. Once one dies, their flesh body goes to dust, and also all parts of that body decays with it. Remember that "under the sun" means flesh man, and you are never going to be back in the flesh again walking under the sun.
The only way you would ever come back to this earth in this flesh age again, is to come back as a messenger, as we saw in Daniel, and it embarrassed him very much when Daniel bowed to him. He was a soul that God had sent on a mission to earth.
In the next life you will know the souls that you knew in this earth age, and you will recognize them. Ezekiel 44 makes that very clear that when we are in our incorruptible bodies we will know each other. As far as the flesh is concerned, it is over.
Ecclesiastes 9:7 "Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works."
Ecclesiastes 9:8 "Let thy garments be always white; and let thy head lack no ointment."
You should find happiness and peace of mind just knowing these things. If you are wise, and know the truths and knowledge of God's Word, there are very exciting times ahead. You earn that white garment with all that it represents in this flesh age, and not in any other time or age.
Ecclesiastes 9:9 "Live joyfully with the wife whom thou loveest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which He hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity: for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun."
In this flesh age, we are to enjoy our mate, and the companionship that he or she gives. That is a gift of God to each of us, while we are in the flesh body. It is unique to this age only, and is a portion from God to you. It is saying that this is the best gift that God will give you, while in the flesh. This is saying to be happy and hang on to that mate and treat her or him as the best thing that you have. He or she is your portion from God.
Remember from the beginning of this chapter? No one know who they are going to love or hate or be attracted to at the time of birth. You were drawn together, now learn to love and respect each other.
Ecclesiastes 9:10 "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest."
Your only time to work and enjoy life is when you are alive in the flesh. While in the flesh, and doing your work, or what ever you do in your learning process, enjoy anything that you do. In the grave it is to late to enjoy anything, for your life in this age is over. Flesh doesn't retain any knowledge, or perform any activity when it is dead, so while you are alive in the flesh, make the flesh be under the control of your soul and spirit, and do all things with all your might.
Ecclesiastes 9:11 "I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all."
This word, "chance" in the Hebrew would be better translated, "divine will". Man can be very wise in the ways of the world, but the divine will of God can cause those efforts to amount to nothing. God can also take those efforts and build it many times over. The race is to wisdom, and true wisdom is to love the heavenly Father, and give Him all the credit and praise for what you have.
Ecclesiastes 9:12 "For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them."
This is an analogy to verse eleven. In other words, bad times just happen, and there is nothing you can do to stop it. The fish is caught just because he swam into the net, and the bird just happened to fly into the snare; so also man gets caught in the snares of the events that happen completely outside of his control. It is saying that accidents just happen, and it can happen to you, regardless of how wise you are. When certain events turn for the worse, bad things can cause much trouble for you, when there was no possible way that you could foresee them. Men get caught in their own ignorance of their surroundings.
What this is driving at, is that if you are in bondage to the flesh, you will never be able to understand divine intervention. As a Christian it is important that you do. We are to be ready for calamity, and when it comes upon us, it is time to use the wisdom that we have in God, and rely on the faith and promises that we have in His Word. The time of calamity is the time to use your common sense, and use your wisdom to see your way through.
Your hook wasn't in the plan of that big old trout that by chance just happened to be passing by your fishing hole. What looked good to him for the moment, caused him to get into quite a calamity, and his trouble was your delight. Sometimes the things that look good, free and to good to be true, are just that, and you get hooked just as that fish did, when he took that big worm attached to your hook. What God is saying is that just like the fish, sometimes that is exactly what will happen to you also. Sometimes wisdom is still important, along with divine intervention.
Ecclesiastes 9:13 "This wisdom have I seen also under the sun, and it seemed great unto me:"
Solomon is saying that he saw this in the flesh, and he thought that it was great. Now he will explain.
Ecclesiastes 9:14 "There was a little city, and few men within it; and there came a great king against it, and besieged it, and built great bulwarks against it:"
This could be an actual event that Solomon knew of, but that is left up to the reader to accept.
In this little city, the army that had surrounded this little city far outnumbered the population of the city.
Ecclesiastes 9:15 "Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city; yet no man remembered that same poor man."
What he is saying is that hero's are not remembered after the fact. Why? That is just the way man and women are in the flesh. Why would Solomon say that he thought that this was great?
Ecclesiastes 9:16 "Then said I, `Wisdom is better than strength: nevertheless the poor man's wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard.' "
Men will never appreciate, and wisdom will set this in your mind that in the long run just forget heroes. The reason that Solomon thinks this is great is because of the chance, or divine intervention that was mentioned before. This is the analogy given for that case. God never forgets a hero, even though his neighbors will. First of all, when you see the wisdom that this man had, you can see that this man was not poor, but he was wealthy in wisdom. We are not to worry about him because a wise man knows how to take care of himself.
Secondly, it is only the little city that thinks he is poor. When the trouble came, the man had power to take charge of the city, and deliver it from the enemy. God gave him the knowledge and the wisdom and the plan in divine intervention to save the city. Now each of us as a Christian are to bring deliverance in the minds of the people, of the deliverer, Jesus Christ. Before we can do that, we must be able to understand the parables and prophecies given in His Word.
The message here is that it doesn't matter what people think; if you are a man or women of God, don't worry what the little city thinks, for what ever it's value was, it is all in the fact that you saved it, and without your wisdom, it just wouldn't exist in the place where it matters, in the eyes of God. What that little city, and those fickle little people around you just doesn't matter one bit in the divine plan of God.
The only thing that mattered to the poor man was that what he did pleased God, and hope that it also pleases people, and if it doesn't, so be it. God people always remember a true man of God, and the others just don't matter. This is great, because great things have happened in small places, when all those people around the divine intervention were to blind to see that hand of God that spared them. People are to busy tending to the little things in life, to see the miracles that took place before their eyes.
Ecclesiastes 9:17 "The words of wise men are heard in quiet more than the cry of him that ruleth among fools."
God chooses men to use in His divine intervention. At a time of calamity, when the hush comes over the people, men will listen to a wise man, then the loud mouth that sounds off after the fact to the fools that would listen to him.
Ecclesiastes 9:18 "Wisdom is better than weapons of war: but one sinner destroyeth much good."
One wise person with divine intervention upon him or her, and accomplish more that weapons of war. Wisdom is the divine battle plan, that in most cases simply doesn't need the weapons of war. It is called, "Doing it God's way", because God's soldiers always have the victory. Why? Because of divine intervention, and because of His chosen people that He uses to lead, through their divine wisdom.
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