Death is coming.
It comes violently, with much clammer, taking with it hundreds of souls.
It comes gently, in the middle of the night, snatching a person from their dreams.
It comes without warning, stealing one’s breath and breaking hearts.
Death is coming — and it is coming for you.
This is Solomon’s message. No matter what you do, or who you are, death will find you. One woman may be the world’s healthiest person, while another lives on bacon, sugar and diet sodas. One person may be incredibly godly, while another is the world’s vilest human being. Everyone will find their way to the grave.
These are some bleak verses, at least they can appear that way. Solomon has talked about death before (see 1:4; 2:14–17; 3:18–20; 4:8; 5:15–16; 6:6; 8:8; 12:1–7). It is a fact all of us must face. You can’t escape it unless God decides to whisk you away like He did with Enoch and Elijah.
Solomon observes that life can seem unfair and unjust, cruel and empty. The righteous suffer while the wicked prosper. Both will end in death and both will be forgotten by history and by family.
Life is messed up! So why bother doing what is right? Why go on fighting for truth? Why suffer the inconvenience of putting others first? Why spend another day swimming against the stream of our corrupt culture?
This is heavy stuff and if this is all there was to Solomon’s message we would have a right to be discouraged and depressed. But there is a light that shines in verse 1.
“But all this I laid to heart, examining it all, how the righteous and the wise and their deeds are in the hand of God.”
“In the hand of God” is a metaphor for the power of God and His sovereignty. God has a special care and love for those who belong to Him. All things in the life of a believer, in your life, are placed there by God for your good. You are held secure in His hand, protected by His power and guided by His wisdom.
While all human life will end in the ground, the ground is not where the life of a Christian will end. Death is but a doorway through which we find Christ our Savior welcoming us to life everlasting. A life filled to overflowing with unspeakable peace and copious amounts of joy, worship, and fun.
This future hope is a living hope (1 Peter 1:3-5) that gives our “today” value and meaning. It is why we desire to do all things for the glory of God. It is why we can find joy in the mundane because “this is the day that the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.” We put others first because our greatest desire is to be like Jesus and to love like Him. We suffer well because we know that in our suffering God is building character, chiseling away at the hold we might have on this world and fitting us for our proper home.
Everyone from the kindest Christ exalting person to those who hate God and love evil will face death. But this is where our commonality ends. Those whose faith is in Jesus as their savior have a hope that reaches far beyond the grave. We do not need to stress about life or fear death because we are safe in the hands of God.
Looking To Jesus,
Did you miss Wednesday’s post? Read it here.