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Meaning(less) – A series on Ecclesiastes

Part 3 – 11/8/2020 


Chapter 9 – Doing what’s right in life gives us hope (Chapters 8 and 9)


9:2 2It is the same for all. There is one fate for the righteous and for the wicked; for the good, for the clean and for the unclean; for the man who offers a sacrifice and for the one who does not sacrifice. As the good man is, so is the sinner; as the swearer is, so is the one who is afraid to swear. 


9:3 3This is an evil in all that is done under the sun, that there is one fate for all men. Furthermore, the hearts of the sons of men are full of evil and insanity is in their hearts throughout their lives. Afterwards they go to the dead. 

  • We live in a crazy world/ Fallen world – someday God will reconcile the world to Himself.


9:4 4For whoever is joined with all the living, there is hope; surely a live dog is better than a dead lion.

  • There is still hope for a living person, they have a chance to reconcile, to turn things around.


9:5 5For the living know they will die; but the dead do not know anything, nor have they any longer a reward, for their memory is forgotten.


9:6 6Indeed their love, their hate and their zeal have already perished, and they will no longer have a share in all that is done under the sun.

  • There is hope because you know that you will die, and you have a chance to surrender your life to what God has called you to be and to do, knowing that one day you will have to answer for everything in this life…the good and the bad.
  • It is a great blessing to know that you are going to die one day, and that you can turn your life around and make it count.


9:7 7Go then, eat your bread in happiness and drink your wine with a cheerful heart; for God has already approved your works.

  • It’s ok to enjoy life.  It’s ok to grab that Potter’s donut, or two…you’re gonna die anyway.
  • We live in a world that doesn’t make sense, but we can still enjoy today.  Pray for those things happening around us.  But still enjoy what God has given.


9:8 8Let your clothes be white all the time, and let not oil be lacking on your head.

  • Party.  White clothes and perfume – party.


9:9 9Enjoy life with the woman whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which He has given to you under the sun; for this is your reward in life and in your toil in which you have labored under the sun.

  • Enjoy life with your spouse, not a bad thing – good thing


9:10 10Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might; for there is no activity or planning or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol where you are going.

  • Sheol – word for the dead.  Once this life is over, It’s over…there are no redo’s.
  • On this earth, man has the opportunity to plan and work and make something of his life.
  • So make something out of your life.  Do your best. Use your talents.  Make as much money as you can (within a normal working time)…and then use it for good.  Help missionaries.  Bless people around you.  
  • Enjoy life.  Enjoy your mate. Work hard and create something with your life.


9:11 11I again saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift and the battle is not to the warriors, and neither is bread to the wise nor wealth to the discerning nor favor to men of ability; for time and chance overtake them all.

  • Put an asterisk in your work.  


9:12 12Moreover, man does not know his time: like fish caught in a treacherous net and birds trapped in a snare, so the sons of men are ensnared at an evil time when it suddenly falls on them.

  • Work hard and enjoy life, but put an asterisk on it.  
  • If you think you can control the end, you might end up as a bitter human being.


9:13 13Also this I came to see as wisdom under the sun, and it impressed me.

9:14 14There was a small city with few men in it and a great king came to it, surrounded it and constructed large siegeworks against it.

9:15 15But there was found in it a poor wise man and he delivered the city by his wisdom. -WAIT- Yet no one remembered that poor man.

  • You would think that the poor man would be celebrated – parades and national holidays.
  • No one remembered the poor man
  • Life was not profitable to him


9:16 16So I said, “Wisdom is better than strength.” But the wisdom of the poor man is despised and his words are not heeded.

  • Wisdom is better.  It’s best to be wise.
  • The poor man did not get a fair shake. 
  • Many pastors end up leaving the ministry because of discouragement.
  • We can’t hold God to the idea that all of our ideals will fall into line the way that we would want them to.
  • We can’t make life go the way we want it.
  • In a world you can’t control – do the right thing and wait on God, don’t expect that God will do everything in your own ways, but trust that He is Sovereign.


We don’t get to make our lives go the way we want, or history go the way we want.  We can go the right direction, but God is Sovereign.  Don’t hold Him to your time constraints, or what you think should happen.


THE POINT:  In a world you can’t control, always trust that God is Sovereign…even when it doesn’t make sense.