Human beings are always searching for meanings in life. The Teacher came up with 3 observations about life and death:
- Life is a gift from God (verses 9-10)
The Preacher noticed something in the pattern of mankind.
“9 What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race” (verses 9-10)
All of us are carrying burdens. There are financial burdens and worries. We are carrying our loads as parents who provide for our children. Or we are caregivers to our elderly parents. If you are a young adult, you face the pressure of balancing work and family life.
If we see life as a gift from God, we have a better attitude and outlook in life. Even if we are going through difficulties times or are carrying burdens, we can still give thanks to God for the gift of life.
If we treasure life as a gift, every breath that we take is a gift. Life becomes meaningful because it is a gift.
If we see our life as a burden, we will miss the gift of life God has for us. We will not see the blessings from God, but all we can see are problems, pain and difficulties. This will make us angry people, bitter people, people who hold on to grudges, people who are always blaming others for their unhappiness.
The way we look at our lives is important. How we view our life will determine how we live our lives. How we live our lives will most likely determine how we leave this world.
2. Our life is linked to eternity (verse 11)
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” (verse 11)
Mankind is created in the image of God. When God created mankind, God placed “eternity in the human heart” (verse 11). God put eternity in our hearts, we were meant to last forever until sin came into the world and separate us from God. In our attempts to find God, we tried many ways to fill in this emptiness.
The Teacher searched for fulfilment in life. He searched for it in entertainment. He could not find it. He searched for it in wealth and could not find it. He was not satisfied. Without God, there is emptiness.
How does knowing that you have been created for eternity affect the way you live your everyday life?
God accomplish His purposes in His time, and we may not understand His plan because He sees it from the eternity point of view. God is all knowing, all seeing, almighty, ever present. God is eternal. He sees the whole picture. He makes everything beautiful in His time, and we can fully trust in Him though we may not understand it all. But it is not for us to worry about. We just need to trust in God and live by faith.
3.Our life is enjoyable— now (vv 12-14)
“12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.” (verses 12-14)
Yes, each of us is carrying our own load of burdens. But the Teacher tells us to enjoy what we have right now. Appreciate what we have now. Some are caught up dreaming of some possible future thinking that we can only enjoy life when we have a car or a house or be married or have kids or retired, or have more money in the bank. Some are dwelling in the past, lamenting about that the good days were gone.
We can appreciate our live right now and live in the moment, not dreaming about the future or dwelling in the past.
Ecclesiastes seems to talk a lot about “meaningless, meaningless” because this is what it is without God, meaningless. But another theme of Ecclesiastes we do not hear a lot is “enjoy life”. We can see this theme being repeated from chapter 3-10.
Life is difficult. Still, we are to treasure each day, and be thankful for what we have. Everything that we have comes from God. God gives us the strength, ability and talents for work and to make a livelihood.
God gives us rest from our labour.
No matter what comes our way, as people who love the Lord, learn not to complain but to give thanks for all that we have with all that we have.
When we are mindful that life is a gift from God, life is more meaningful and manageable. We can rest in God and find satisfaction in our daily toil.