Ecclesiastes 8

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God is our king, and He is King of kings over all other authority, because all authority in heaven and on earth comes from Him (Matt 28:18). As much as we must live under the laws of our country we should be standing up to challenge those laws that go against the ways of the Lord, though this should be done in love. We need to trust in faith that eventually things will work out justly under the ultimate law of God, and that if we are to fall to unjustice, in His time the Lord will right all wrongs. I hope that when occasions come up where I am asked to do something by an employer or figure of authority where it is against the word of God I am able to recognize it and stand against it.

There is a saying “only the good die young”. That seems to mirror this verse that those sinners that do evil live long lives, yet this verse also seems to explain the reason for that. Those that are in the right place with the Lord will be well. They may live a shorter life, yet that life will be more fulfilled, and promises eternity in the Lord’s kingdom. Those who sin against God will at their end suffer the Lord’s judgement. The Lord is gracious to offer those that sin a longer life and more chances within those years to come to know Him. I thank God for his grace that I could repent my sins and come to know him again just recently.

Despite the perceived unfairness of people benefitting in things they haven’t deserved, the writer/Solomon again says that we should enjoy what God has given us. I may not understand the plan of God, and things may seem unfair where people reveling in sin prosper, and I feel that I am suffering or not getting my due. I need to trust that my faith in the Lord is still the best path, and to remember that the things of this world are not things I should love and make an idol of, though I can enjoy those gifts of God for what they are.

Solomon shares that though he sought the reason for things using his God given wisdom in a tireless and all consuming search, he came up without all questions answered. This is inclusive of those who think they can know the ways of the future through means like fortune telling. God has revealed what He will reveal and nothing we can do will force Him to reveal more. If Solomon in all his wisdom and effort couldn’t comprehend God’s plan, it truly is ‘vanity’ for me to think I can. This reinforces how much I need to just trust God to be the driving force in my life, and to just take a back seat and let His will be worked in me without my control.

Ecclesiastes 8:1-17

1 Who is as the wise man? and who knoweth the interpretation of a thing? a man’s wisdom maketh his face to shine, and the boldness of his face shall be changed. 2 I counsel thee to keep the king’s commandment, and that in regard of the oath of God. 3 Be not hasty to go out of his sight: stand not in an evil thing; for he doeth whatsoever pleaseth him. 4 Where the word of a king is, there is power: and who may say unto him, What doest thou? 5 Whoso keepeth the commandment shall feel no evil thing: and a wise man’s heart discerneth both time and judgment. 6 Because to every purpose there is time and judgment, therefore the misery of man is great upon him. 7 For he knoweth not that which shall be: for who can tell him when it shall be? 8 There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war; neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it. 9 All this have I seen, and applied my heart unto every work that is done under the sun: there is a time wherein one man ruleth over another to his own hurt. 10 And so I saw the wicked buried, who had come and gone from the place of the holy, and they were forgotten in the city where they had so done: this is also vanity. 11 Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. 12 Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him: 13 But it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he prolong his days, which are as a shadow; because he feareth not before God. 14 There is a vanity which is done upon the earth; that there be just men, unto whom it happeneth according to the work of the wicked; again, there be wicked men, to whom it happeneth according to the work of the righteous: I said that this also is vanity. 15 Then I commended mirth, because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry: for that shall abide with him of his labour the days of his life, which God giveth him under the sun. 16 When I applied mine heart to know wisdom, and to see the business that is done upon the earth: (for also there is that neither day nor night seeth sleep with his eyes:) 17 Then I beheld all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun: because though a man labour to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yea further; though a wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it.

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