Death Is Part of Life

Ecclesiastes  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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We must live by faith by trusting God and enjoying all the blessings He chooses to give us.

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A British poet once wrote, Oh why do people waste their breath inventing dainty names for death? That is a fair question. One thing is certain, people will try to deny the reality of the certainty of death. Some even fear speaking about death. Let me give you a few substitutions people use when speaking about death—left us, went home, passed away or passed on, went to sleep, etc. They’re obviously not all bad, especially for the Christian, where the Bible does speak of fall asleep and going home. Yet, as I’ve said before, unless we’re prepared to face the reality of death, we’re not truly ready to live.
Death is a fact of life on this earth and we need to understand its reality. This particular chapter speaks a great deal about the subject of death. Since we cannot stop death and neither do we know when it will come, we ought to know how to live in the meantime.
We must live by faith by trusting God and enjoy all the blessings He chooses to give us.
We must live by faith by trusting God and enjoying all the blessings He chooses to give us.

We Cannot Escape Death’s Certainty. - 9:1-10

There is no fountain of youth. There is nobody who has the secret of living forever in these earthly bodies. In fact, listen to Hebrews 9:27.
Hebrews 9:27 NASB95
And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment,
Hebrews 09
Interestingly, when death happens, from an earthly perspective, we cannot tell whether a person was evil or good in God’s eyes. Whether good or evil, we recognize that everyone experiences blessing and heartache, drought and rain, heat and cold, plenty and want. Tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes—none are able to discriminate between those who are wicked and those who are righteous.
I know that sickness and accidents and wars and various other things can cause death to anyone. But, according to this verse in Hebrews, it’s one of God’s appointments. If God spares a life or allows death to occur, we need to recognize that God is the only one who has that authority. The famous actor and writer and director, Woody Allen remarked, I’m not afraid to die, I just don’t want to be there when it happens. Obviously, when that time of death comes for all of us, we’ll definitely be there.
In verses 1-2, Solomon recognizes that everything is in God’s hands. Nothing is a surprise to God. God knows our future and He knows the decisions that we’ll choose to make which helps to decide the outcome of tomorrow. Some would question as to whether or not it is worth it to live one’s life for the Lord, since death awaits everybody. Here is where it is so important that we know the totality of the Bible. Yes, everyone will face death (except those who are raptured while still alive). However, not everyone has the same destiny after death.
You see, for many of us, we have made the choice to trust Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. I know that death is my last enemy, according to . But I also know from many other passages that death has been defeated by Christ. Therefore, all of us who have made that choice are truly prepared to die. Unfortunately, there are some who are here today or online listening to my words who are not prepared to die because you have chosen to take your chances and hope for the best, without committing your life to Jesus. As I so often do, I urge you to seek forgiveness from God for your sins and allow Jesus to be in charge of your life so that you can live today as one who is full of hope and joy, knowing that death can no longer take that from you.
So, we know that nobody can escape death’s certainty. It is going to happen. In verses 3 and following, Solomon talks about the fact that how people face death has a great deal of influence as to how they approach life. Death is a reality that is in the mind of every human; so how should people deal with that?
One very common method, seen in verse 3, is to run away or try to avoid the very thought of death. In visiting with many funeral directors and personal experiences, one thing which occurs far too often is how the problems that have been hiding in families often comes to the surface, in particular, amongst the unsaved. Suddenly, people are forced to face the reality of death and discover that death can happen to them. Sadly, many people refuse to even acknowledge this or even deal with it.
Avoidance comes with many different looks. In attempts to ignore it or disregard death, they will talk about how to avoid it. I would rather they talk about how to prepare for death. I would love for them to realize that repentance and acceptance of Jesus Christ for salvation is the very best way to meet death head-on. Some people will avoid or ignore death by substance abuse, taking unnecessary risks, pursuing all kinds of earthly pleasures, lashing out in anger at others, etc. However, death is still a reality. It is indeed a part of life. It is still the last enemy for those who do not have a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Another method Solomon observed in verses 4-6 is to hope for the best. There’s a quote that is taken from some writings of a Greek poet back in the 3rd Century B.C. It states, While there’s life there’s hope. Solomon somewhat alludes to this by that strange phrase: Surely a live dog is better than a dead lion. There is still opportunity to prepare to meet death. Yet, we know that death is a part of life, so it needs to have the proper hope instead of a false hope. We know from
2 Timothy 1:10 NASB95
but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,
Because Jesus is alive and has conquered death, we have a genuine hope. If hope can be crushed because one believes that death is the ultimate end, then it is false hope. So, verse 5 reminds us that once a person is dead, they cannot actively do anything about their legacy or their reputation. However, those who are alive can do something. We can take advantage of the opportunity of being alive and preparing better for death. Rather than looking forward to better days, make the most of today. For tomorrow may never come.
Interestingly, in most medical trauma situations, doctors, nurses, and therapists state that if the patient shows no hope and is discouraged, the outcome is not as good. It has been stated that the secret ingredient in any prescription or therapy is the patient’s hope. Yet, let me stress that hope in hope is not real hope. Hope must be placed in that which cannot fail—our God cannot fail.
The third response really cannot truly happen unless a person is born again. We read of this in verses 7-10—enjoy. In light of all that God has done, enjoy it. Don’t sit around with the idea that death is right around the corner so we need to be sorrowful and morbid in all we do. We acknowledge that death is a part of life, but we don’t dwell on it, for we’ve received salvation and have passed from death to life.
What are some of the things that we should enjoy? Verse 7 speaks of food and mealtimes. At our home, we are continuing to learn that we don’t just eat to survive, but it becomes an event where we enjoy the food and the fellowship and oftentimes a lot of frivolity. In Jewish culture, the main meal of the day was after the sun went down. I like what one writer stated: The most important thing on any menu is family love. I love it when our children invite their friends to our home for a meal and family time. This is a good thing to enjoy since it is a gift from God.
Verse 8 continues with enjoying family times. Because of the reference to smelling good and looking good, this is probably referring to celebrations. The white garments symbolize joy. Yet Solomon says to do this all the time. Maybe he was reminding us to make every time special. A person who dresses to feel good, makes others feel good and is a joy to be around. No need for us to be drab and dreary; show others that you rejoice in God’s provisions and life itself by dressing accordingly. Plus, it strikes me that Solomon doesn’t limit when this happens; Let your clothes be white all the time. Sounds a bit like .
Philippians 4:4 NASB95
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!
Be Satisfied 1. Death Is Unavoidable (Ecc. 9:1–10)

It’s not by searching for special things that we find joy, but by making the everyday things special.

Verse 9 talks about enjoying your spouse if you find yourself married. I love doing life with my beloved. She is NOT my ball and chain or my anchor. We remember that Solomon didn’t heed his own counsel. However, maybe he realized this after the fact.
Verse 9 talks about enjoying your spouse if you find yourself married. I love doing life with my beloved. She is NOT my ball and chain or my anchor.
Verse 10 affirms for us the ability to enjoy working hard. There is no biblical get-rich quick formula. Anything that offers that today is not from God, for it contradicts the Word of God throughout which affirms hard work for whatever we receive. The Jewish people again understood that work is a gift and a blessing from God. We know that Paul was a tent maker, as even the rabbis had a trade which they knew.
We must live by faith by trusting God and enjoying all the blessings He chooses to give us.
Well, by now it should be obvious that death is indeed a certainty. But what about those who try to play the odds and predict when or how death will occur? What about those who suggest we concentrate on life and make the most assuming that we all have lots of years ahead of us? Let’s look at Solomon’s comments on predicting when death will happen.

We Cannot Estimate Death’s Scenario. - 9:11-18

The perspective of Solomon is made clear in verse 11 in that he is observing from an earthly perspective. Tomorrow is never guaranteed for anybody. There are no guarantees in life except for the promise of eternal life to all who believe in Jesus Christ.
I cannot will or force success or profit or skill. Nobody has that kind of ability. The power of positive thinking is not a truism, for none of us has the ability to override death, nor guarantee positive results for everything, should this be the day the Lord has allotted for us to die. The reality is that no matter how strong you are, how positive you are, how skilled you are, how intelligent you are, there are simply too many other factors that can sideswipe everything. Verse 11 makes it quite clear that time and chance overtake them all.
The word chance is not at all related to luck in any way. The word means occurrence or event. You see, the only time a person should have a rabbit’s foot with them is when they’re carrying the rest of the rabbit. There are no lucky or unlucky numbers or days of the week. However, I have absolute confidence that God can arrange circumstance and situations (time and chance) according to His perfect will. One comedian remarked: I’m a great believer in luck. I find that the harder I work, the more I have of it.
The word chance is not at all related to luck in any way. The word means occurrence or event. You see, the only time a person should have a rabbit’s foot with them is when they’re carrying the rest of the rabbit. There are no lucky or unlucky numbers or days of the week. However, I have absolute confidence that God can arrange circumstance and situations (time and chance) according to His perfect will. One comedian remarked: I’m a great believer in luck. I find that the harder I work, the more I have of it.
We’ve all experienced at one time or another when everything was going amazingly smooth, only to be interrupted by some event that totally ruined what had been so wonderful in our eyes and mind. There are some things which are completely out of our control or ability to control. My stroke was not on my calendar; however, God knew about it. Yet, we daily give God glory for the privilege of living for and serving Him, along with every other blessing that is so undeserved.
Verses 13-18 shows that it appears that this city was being attacked. There was a wise man who rescued the city by his counsel. The people did not remember him. Sadly, later on, based on verse 18, it sees that though great good came from the wise man, one sinner can destroy all of that.
Even though wisdom is better than strength, the words from verse 16 shows that it is despised and not heeded. The unforeseen can often pop up and shipwreck everything. The loud shouting of a ruler among fools sadly creates great grief. Solomon reminds us that there is no prediction of when or how death will occur. Even amongst weapons of war destruction can happen quickly and with no warning.

Summary

I really don’t want this message to be a discouraging message. My desire is that we would all live by faith by trusting God and enjoying all the blessings He chooses to give us. We can’t explain everything especially death. We cannot trust in chance or luck or the odds, but only in Christ.
Historians state that when Robert E. Lee was dying, his final words were, Let the tent be struck. In other words, the battles of this earth were over for him and he was ready to move on. My friends, that is my prayer for you that you would have the confidence and faith in the Lord by placing your trust in Him for salvation through Jesus Christ. We don’t have to hold on to anything on this earth. We will have lived a full rich life of service to our Savior, enjoying all the blessings He has given us while on this planet. This may be many years for some and a few hours for others. However, as a result of that faith and trust, we are ready to move on to life everlasting in the very presence of Jesus Christ.
This may be many years for some and a few hours for others. However, as a result of that faith and trust, we are ready to move on to life everlasting in the very presence of Jesus Christ.
Eugene Peterson wrote: Death is just a change of address, but what you believe will determine what neighborhood you end up in.
Paul sums it up quite nicely.
1 Corinthians 15:57–58 NASB95
but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.
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