Ecclesiastes 2:14-26 “Therefore I Hated Life…”

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Ecc 2:14 The wise man’s eyes are in his head; but the fool walketh in darkness: and I myself perceived also that one event happeneth to them all.

Ecc 2:15 Then said I in my heart, As it happeneth to the fool, so it happeneth even to me; and why was I then more wise? Then I said in my heart, that this also is vanity.

Ecc 2:16 For there is no remembrance of the wise more than of the fool for ever; seeing that which now is in the days to come shall all be forgotten. And how dieth the wise man? as the fool.

Ecc 2:17 Therefore I hated life; because the work that is wrought under the sun is grievous unto me: for all is vanity and vexation of spirit.

Ecc 2:18 Yea, I hated all my labour which I had taken under the sun: because I should leave it unto the man that shall be after me.

Ecc 2:19 And who knoweth whether he shall be a wise man or a fool? yet shall he have rule over all my labour wherein I have laboured, and wherein I have shewed myself wise under the sun. This is also vanity.

Ecc 2:20 Therefore I went about to cause my heart to despair of all the labour which I took under the sun.

Ecc 2:21 For there is a man whose labour is in wisdom, and in knowledge, and in equity; yet to a man that hath not laboured therein shall he leave it for his portion. This also is vanity and a great evil.

Ecc 2:22 For what hath man of all his labour, and of the vexation of his heart, wherein he hath laboured under the sun?

Ecc 2:23 For all his days are sorrows, and his travail grief; yea, his heart taketh not rest in the night. This is also vanity.

Ecc 2:24 There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God.

Ecc 2:25 For who can eat, or who else can hasten hereunto, more than I?

Ecc 2:26 For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that is good before God. This also is vanity and vexation of spirit.

Introduction

In many of our studies, we emphasize that the scriptures plainly teach that “the sum of thy word is Truth”.

Psa 119:160 The sum of thy word is truth; And every one of thy righteous ordinances endureth for ever. (ACV, ASV, DAR, etc.)

We emphasize that the sum of God’s word is found “line upon line and precept upon precept, here a little and there a little”, for the purpose of causing the masses who come to Christ to be blinded from His parables while all the while believing they are coming to know Him much better. That is another principle we are given which instructs us how we are to follow the example of Christ and His apostles in attempting to understand His Words:

Isa 28:8 For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean.

Isa 28:9 Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.

Isa 28:10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:

Isa 28:11 For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.

Isa 28:12 To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.

Isa 28:13 But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.

These words have been or will be lived out in all of our lives. The whole world has been blinded from understanding the things of the spirit by not being given eyes that see these spiritual instructions for how we are to handle the word of God. The New Testament is replete with examples of how the apostles applied these instructions to their use and application of the Word of God in their writings. We are all first “snared and taken” by this method of understanding the sum of God’s Word, as we will demonstrate with our study today.

In the first verse of our study today we see the phrase “one event… to them all”:

Ecc 2:14 The wise man’s eyes are in his head; but the fool walketh in darkness: and I myself perceived also that one event happeneth to them all.

This statement is in complete accord with this verse in chapter 9:

Ecc 9:2 All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him that sacrificeth, and to him that sacrificeth not: as is the good, so is the sinner; and he that sweareth, as he that feareth an oath.

The “all things” here in this ninth chapter is added to the “one event… to them all” phrase which is mentioned both here in chapter 9 and in chapter 2. This “all things” of Ecc 9:2 must now be understood as part of the “one event [ which] happens to [ us] all”. This “all things” in Ecc 9:2 is the same as the “all things of these New Testament verses:

1Co 3:21 Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;

1Co 3:22 Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours;

1Co 3:23 And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.

We have been instructed to be seeking to know ‘the sum of God’s word, line upon line and precept upon precept, here a little and there a little’. If we apply those principles to the verses before us here in Ecc 2 and 9, we now know that 1Co 3:21-23 in no way conflicts with Ecc 2: 14-16. Rather Ecc 9:2 and 1Co3:22 simply add to our understanding and give us some of the details of what was meant by the phrase “all things” of Ecc 9:2. 1Co 3:21-23 give us specifics about what the phrase “all things” means which we are not given in Ecc 9:2.

Here in 1Co 3 we learn that the “all things” of Ecc 9:2 is not just the death of Ecc 2:16:

Our apostatized old man, wallowing in his wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked spiritual state, continues to lament his doomed condition:

Ecc 2:15 Then said I in my heart, As it happeneth to the fool, so it happeneth even to me; and why was I then more wise? Then I said in my heart, that this also is vanity.

“This also is vanity”. There it is again. That is the perspective of a rebellious, self- righteous, old “first man Adam” who thinks that others are greater fools than himself, all the while lamenting the futility of it all, because he cannot as yet receive the words of life. We are all in our own time apostates and do not know it. Solomon did not know he was an apostatized King until he was told so, and like Joseph’s brothers being told that Joseph had no intention of seeking revenge, Solomon did not believe what he was told. He actually tells us that as far as he was concerned, He did all of this while “yet acquainting mine heart with wisdom”:

Ecc 2:3 I sought in mine heart to give myself unto wine, yet acquainting mine heart with wisdom; and to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was that good for the sons of men, which they should do under the heaven all the days of their life.

It is a “turning… grace into lasciviousness” spirit which tells us we can give ourselves to wine and folly and “yet acquaint [ our] heart with wisdom”. But that is what we all do in our own time, and in our own self- righteous way.

Continuing with this vacuous lament of our dying old man:

Ecc 2:16 For there is no remembrance of the wise more than of the fool for ever; seeing that which now is in the days to come shall all be forgotten. And how dieth the wise man? as the fool.

If indeed there were no resurrection from the dead, then this lament would be true for us all. But Christ is risen from the dead, and the only person for whom this lament carries any truth is our already doomed and dying old man, and the Babylonian system to which he was so attached:

1Co 15:16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:

1Co 15:17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.

1Co 15:18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.

Then in the very next verse the apostle is inspired to express the exact same feeling King Solomon expressed as a type of us when we have lost our first love and no longer rest in our Lord. Here is just a New Testament way of saying “vanity of vanities, all is vanity and vexation of spirit”:

1Co 15:19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

If we say, as many do, that the “one event” of Ecc 9:2 means only the death that is common to all men in Ecc 2:16 then we are saying that 1Co 3:21-23 is not true and that “the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are [ NOT] ours”;

But 1Co 3 is true, and the “one event” of Ecc 9:2 is not just the death of our old, “first man Adam”, but that “one event” includes the judgment and destruction of our rebellious, carnal- minded, old man, and through that destruction, that “one event” which is common to all men, also includes the birth of our obedient, spiritually- minded, “new man… the last Adam”.

That is the “one event to the righteous and to the wicked”. It is the judgment and destruction of the earthy, carnal- minded, rebellious, and self- righteous, first man Adam, resulting in the birth of the new, obedient, spiritually- minded last Adam.

But King Solomon has “lost [ his] first love”, which he had with his Creator at the beginning of his reign, and in that way he is the Old Testament type of what we must “keep” in the reading and hearing these words:

Rev 2:1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;

Rev 2:2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:

Rev 2:3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.

Rev 2:4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

Rev 2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

So now King Solomon is in the same spiritual state as King Saul, from whom the Lord took the kingdom of Israel and gave it to Solomon’s father, King David. These words which Samuel spoke to King Saul are a perfect description of where King Solomon is while giving himself to wine and to folly, and yet claiming to “acquaint himself with wisdom” while doing so.

1Sa 15:17 And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed thee king over Israel?

1Sa 15:18 And the LORD sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed.

1Sa 15:19 Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the LORD, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the LORD?

King Saul placed the blame upon his subjects instead of himself:

1Sa 15:20 And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.

1Sa 15:21 But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal.

1Sa 15:22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

1Sa 15:23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.

What a self- righteous, and double- tongued answer from the king who was supposed to lead his people. “I have obeyed the voice of the Lord, and have … utterly destroyed the Amalekites”, But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the Lord thy God in Gilgal”.

So then King Saul is admitting in the same breath that he did not “utterly destroy… the things which should have been utterly destroyed”, and he is feeling self- righteous while doing so: “But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the Lord thy God in Gilgal”.

That is what we do when we attempt to tell ourselves that some of the bread and water of Babylon still has some things that are fit to be offered to the Lord, and we should never “utterly destroy” our ties with that great harlot and all the wonderful offerings she can and does offer to God.

Just like King Saul, Solomon became exalted in his own eyes and let his desire to please his many strange wives, a type of many strange churches with many strange doctrines, cause him to lose his first love, and go after strange gods.

1Ki 11:1 But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites;

1Ki 11:2 Of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love.

1Ki 11:3 And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart.

1Ki 11:4 For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father.

1Ki 11:5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.

1Ki 11:6 And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father.

1Ki 11:7 Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon.

1Ki 11:8 And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods.

At first Solomon was very humble and He loved God, but now “he clave onto these in love [ his strange wives and their strange gods]”.

These things happened to King Saul and to King Solomon for our admonition, to show us how we, too, have that same carnal- minded spirit within our own flesh. We are warned against this spirit in the messages to the seven churches of Revelation.

The symbolism of the phrase, “the seven churches of Asia” is seven times revealed in Rev 2-3 with these words:

Rev 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

Rev 2:11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

Rev 2:17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

Rev 2:29 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Rev 3:6 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Rev 3:13 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Rev 3:22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

When we are in this place of having lost our first love, the words to the church of Laodicea demonstrate for us that we have not yet been given “an ear to hear”, and we are totally unaware that we have lost the zeal we once had for our first love. Here is what we think of ourselves when we have lost our own first love:

Rev 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

Rev 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

Rev 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

Rev 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

Rev 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

“You are neither cold nor hot” Notice that we are not told that Solomon himself offered sacrifices to the strange God’s of his strange wives. No! No! He “acquainted himself with wisdom” while building their altars to their strange Gods, and while they, not he, sacrificed to those Gods.

1Ki 11:6 And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father.

1Ki 11:7 Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon.

1Ki 11:8 And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods.

But we cannot play mind games with God. It is He who prepares our hearts and turns them where He will:

Pro 16:1 The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD.

Pro 16:2 All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits [ Which He sends, 1Sa 16:14-15].

Pro 20:24 Man’s goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?

Pro 21:1 The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.

So much for the king’s free will or the free will of any of us. The self- righteous rebellion of Job, King Saul and King Solomon are all “written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world [ Greek – ages] is come”.

1Co 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

It is comforting to know that “all things” which are ours, also includes these words:

Rev 2:26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:

Rev 2:27 And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.

Rev 2:28 And I will give him the morning star.

Rev 3:22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

But until we are granted to look behind us and see the revelation of Jesus Christ within us, we, too, feel just like the apostatized King Solomon:

Ecc 2:17 Therefore I hated life; because the work that is wrought under the sun is grievous unto me: for all is vanity and vexation of spirit.

As the apostle said:

1Co 15:19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

Solomon’s “under the sun” is Paul’s “in this life only”. But Christ is the Sun, and in Him we are no longer under the sun but within Him:

Joh 14:20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.

Now all the promises of God are ‘Yes’ in Christ:

2Co 1:20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.

But this book is primarily about those things which precede that spirit of the faith of Jesus Christ.

Gal2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

1Ti 1:14 And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

So the life of our old man is wrapped up in this present evil world, and he wants to take it with him, rather than leave his worldly possessions to his heirs, who will also be foolish before they will become truly wise men:

Ecc 2:18 Yea, I hated all my labour which I had taken under the sun: because I should leave it unto the man that shall be after me.

Ecc 2:19 And who knoweth whether he shall be a wise man or a fool? yet shall he have rule over all my labour wherein I have laboured, and wherein I have shewed myself wise under the sun. This is also vanity.

I for one thank the Lord that He has given me to understand that “the things which are seen are temporal”, and that I have no business concerning myself with what physical things I might leave behind in this world.

2Co 4:16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

2Co 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

2Co 4:18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

These verses bring to mind one of Solomon’s proverbs which was very prophetic concerning his own son, Rehoboam, in which he said this:

Pro 17:2 A wise servant shall have rule over a son that causeth shame, and shall have part of the inheritance among the brethren.

That is exactly what happened to Solomon’s son, Rehoboam:

1Ki 12:1 And Rehoboam went to Shechem: for all Israel were come to Shechem to make him king.

1Ki 12:2 And it came to pass, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who was yet in Egypt, heard of it, (for he was fled from the presence of king Solomon, and Jeroboam dwelt in Egypt;)

1Ki 12:3 That they sent and called him. And Jeroboam and all the congregation of Israel came, and spake unto Rehoboam, saying,

1Ki 12:4 Thy father made our yoke grievous: now therefore make thou the grievous service of thy father, and his heavy yoke which he put upon us, lighter, and we will serve thee.

1Ki 12:5 And he said unto them, Depart yet for three days, then come again to me. And the people departed.

1Ki 12:6 And king Rehoboam consulted with the old men, that stood before Solomon his father while he yet lived, and said, How do ye advise that I may answer this people?

1Ki 12:7 And they spake unto him, saying, If thou wilt be a servant unto this people this day, and wilt serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be thy servants for ever.

1Ki 12:8 But he forsook the counsel of the old men, which they had given him, and consulted with the young men that were grown up with him, and which stood before him:

1Ki 12:9 And he said unto them, What counsel give ye that we may answer this people, who have spoken to me, saying, Make the yoke which thy father did put upon us lighter?

1Ki 12:10 And the young men that were grown up with him spake unto him, saying, Thus shalt thou speak unto this people that spake unto thee, saying, Thy father made our yoke heavy, but make thou it lighter unto us; thus shalt thou say unto them, My little finger shall be thicker than my father’s loins.

1Ki 12:11 And now whereas my father did lade you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke: my father hath chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.

1Ki 12:12 So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam the third day, as the king had appointed, saying, Come to me again the third day.

1Ki 12:13 And the king answered the people roughly, and forsook the old men’s counsel that they gave him;

1Ki 12:14 And spake to them after the counsel of the young men, saying, My father made your yoke heavy, and I will add to your yoke: my father also chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.

1Ki 12:15 Wherefore the king hearkened not unto the people; for the cause was from the LORD, that he might perform his saying, which the LORD spake by Ahijah the Shilonite unto Jeroboam the son of Nebat.

1Ki 12:16 So when all Israel saw that the king hearkened not unto them, the people answered the king, saying, What portion have we in David? neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: to your tents, O Israel: now see to thine own house, David. So Israel departed unto their tents.

1Ki 12:17 But as for the children of Israel which dwelt in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them.

1Ki 12:18 Then king Rehoboam sent Adoram, who was over the tribute; and all Israel stoned him with stones, that he died. Therefore king Rehoboam made speed to get him up to his chariot, to flee to Jerusalem.

1Ki 12:19 So Israel rebelled against the house of David unto this day.

1Ki 12:20 And it came to pass, when all Israel heard that Jeroboam was come again, that they sent and called him unto the congregation, and made him king over all Israel: there was none that followed the house of David, but the tribe of Judah only.

So King Solomon’s labors were indeed left to a foolish son and to a servant who was “given part of the inheritance among the brothers”.

Ecc 2:20 Therefore I went about to cause my heart to despair of all the labour which I took under the sun.

Ecc 2:21 For there is a man whose labour is in wisdom, and in knowledge, and in equity; yet to a man that hath not laboured therein shall he leave it for his portion. This also is vanity and a great evil.

Again, Solomon is us, and it we who think our foolishness and self- righteousness is so much better than the foolishness and sinfulness of others, as other men are, even as this publican”.

Luk 18:11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.

But self- righteousness is a stench in the nostrils of God, and that sense of being rejected by God does indeed “cause [ our] hearts to despair of all the labor which [ we] take under the sun”.

Ecc 2:22 For what hath man of all his labour, and of the vexation of his heart, wherein he hath laboured under the sun?

Ecc 2:23 For all his days are sorrows, and his travail grief; yea, his heart taketh not rest in the night. This is also vanity.

It was Job’s self- righteousness, another type of who we all are, which brought him to this same tormented state of being:

Job 7:13 When I say, My bed shall comfort me, my couch shall ease my complaint;

Job 7:14 Then thou scarest me with dreams, and terrifiest me through visions:

Job 7:15 So that my soul chooseth strangling, and death rather than my life.

Job 7:16 I loathe it; I would not live alway: let me alone; for my days are vanity.

Job lost all he had labored to acquire, just as he feared would happen, and King Solomon had his wealth and was still made to realize that physical wealth does not bring happiness nor does it bring the sense of good and purpose which we are all designed to crave and to desire.

Job 3:25 For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.

Rom 7:19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

So what does our carnal mind decide? Here is what we think about this present life before we come to know the Christ of the scriptures:

Ecc 2:24 There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God.

Solomon actually believes that this life is all there is, and that all this sense of futility and emptiness is the end product by God’s design. So he revels in his day.

Ecc 2:25 For who can eat, or who else can hasten hereunto, more than I?

“Hereunto” meaning ‘eating, drinking, and making his soul enjoy good in his labor’. It is in our flesh to think that our perceptions of anything, joy and pleasure, or misery and pain, we experience them all on higher a plain than any of our fellows.

Ecc 2:26 For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that is good before God. This also is vanity and vexation of spirit.

“God gives to a man what is right in His sight…” King Ahaziah, King Ahab’s son, was an evil king who was struck with an illness by God and died after reigning only two years. Yet his father Ahab, who was also very wicked reigned for 22 years.

1Ki 16:29 And in the thirty and eighth year of Asa king of Judah began Ahab the son of Omri to reign over Israel: and Ahab the son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria twenty and two years.

1Ki 16:30 And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD above all that were before him.

We have no way of knowing why Ahab, who married the Pagan princess, Jezebel, and who “did evil in the sight of the Lord above all that were before him” was granted to reign for 22 years, while his son was given only two years to reign before being struck down by the Lord. But both Ahab and Ahaziah are but types and shadows of our own self- righteous, first man Adam, within us, and of that old man we are told: “but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that is good before God”.

So everything, or as the scriptures word it, “All things are [ ours]”, and “all things are for [ our] sakes”for our sakes”.

1Co 3:21 Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;

1Co 3:22 Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours;

2Co 4:15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.

That is quite an encouraging statement which produces a very positive frame of mind in those who are granted to believe those words. But Solomon is a type of who we all are before we are given that faith of Jesus. Hence, for the tenth time in two short chapters Solomon repeats his lament: “This also is vanity and vexation of spirit.”

Such is the sad state of our flesh. It is “marred in the hand of the Potter” and is designed to be a “vessel of destruction” all for the benefit of the new man, whose very life comes only through the death and the destruction of the old man within every man.

Mat 10:39 He that findeth his life [ of his old man] shall lose it: and he that loseth his life [ of his old man] for my sake shall find it [ in the life of the new man].

We have spoken much about the phrase “all things”. Next week, if the Lord wills, we will discover that “To every thing there is a season. and a time to every purpose under the heaven”.

Ecc 3:1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

Ecc 3:2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

Ecc 3:3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

Ecc 3:4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

Ecc 3:5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

Ecc 3:6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

Ecc 3:7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

Ecc 3:8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

Ecc 3:9 What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?

Ecc 3:10 I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.

Ecc 3:11 He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.

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