Ecclesiastes 7:1-9 “The Day Of Death…”

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Is Better… Than The Day of One’s Birth.

Ecc 7:1  A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth.
Ecc 7:2  It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.
Ecc 7:3  Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.
Ecc 7:4  The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.
Ecc 7:5  It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools.
Ecc 7:6  For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool: this also is vanity.
Ecc 7:7  Surely oppression maketh a wise man mad; and a gift destroyeth the heart.
Ecc 7:8  Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.
Ecc 7:9  Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.

Introduction

In the midst of expressing such a depressed spirit which emphasizes the “vanity and vexation of spirit” of everything that takes place “under the sun”, Solomon seems to have been granted a reprieve in this seventh chapter of Ecclesiastes. In this chapter he is granted to see great purpose in even the most negative experiences of life. In this seventh chapter of Ecclesiastes we are made to understand a principle which will open up the message of God’s Word to us, and that principle is that the daily death and decrease of our old man is the daily birth and increase of our new man:

Joh 3:30  He [our new man] must increase, but I [our old man] must decrease.

When we grasp the depth of the Truth of that verse of scripture, we will then see all of the seemingly negative, dire, and apocolyptic, words of scripture, in a new and postive light which we cannot see until we come to appreciate that the death of our old man is the birth of our new man. When we see the benefits of the death of our old man, and we understand that his death is the nourishment of our new man then this verse of scripture will also become full of meaning to us:

Num 14:9  Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not.

The Lord is with our new man and our old man has no defence against Christ in us, and his daily dying is “bread for us”. “The land” is an Old Testament type and shadow of our physical bodies, and “the people of the land” are an Old Testament type of our carnal desires and passions within us. That is why we are told that when we disobey God we “cause the land to sin”:

Deu 24:4 Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the LORD: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.

Our carnal desires and passions are all there by virtue of being born in “vessels of clay… marred in the Potter’s hand”.

Jer 18:4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.

Of our own will, we have no defense against the sinful nature of our natural “old… first man Adam” within all of us. Christ in us, and His daily dying to the passions of our flesh, is actually what causes our dying flesh to become “bread for us”, and that dying process itself is actually the nourishment of the new man within us.

Christ taught us this same principle with His own doctrine when to told us:

Joh 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

Mat 10:39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

How is it possible to “lose [our] life” and at the same time “find it”? How that is possible was not given to Solomon or to any of the “many prophets… kings [or] righteous men” of the Old Testament to understand.

Mat 13:17 For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

Luk 10:24 For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

In the physical realm, dying to find life is not possible, and that statement, “in the physical realm”, is nothing less than a blatant contradiction. But that is why we are told that our way of thinking is not the way God thinks and that our carnal way of thinking is in reality “enmity against God”.

Isa 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
Isa 55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Rom 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

Paul tells us that “there in no good thing in [our] flesh”:

Rom 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

But when we read that verse in its context, we discover that the scriptures go as far as to teach us that even our sins are no really ours, but are all actually part of the purpose which God is working in all men of all time:

Rom 7:17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
Rom 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
Rom 7:19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
Rom 7:20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
Rom 7:21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
Rom 7:22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
Rom 7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

Paul does not separate himself from his flesh, but he does separate himself from what he does within that flesh, and he twice tells us the same thing Joseph told his ten brothers “it was not you that sent me here, but God”, or as Paul puts it, “it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwells within me”.

Rom 7:17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

Rom 7:20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

Gen 45:4 And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt.
Gen 45:5 Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.
Gen 45:6 For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest.
Gen 45:7 And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.
Gen 45:8 So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.

“… Whom you sold into Egypt… You sold me here… So now it was not you that sent me here, but God”, again appears to the carnal mind to be a complete and blatant contradiction. But that again is the very nature of the Word of God, and the very meaning of:

Isa 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
Isa 55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

So if we are given this understanding, we will now be able to understand all the apparent contradictions of this seventh chapter of Ecclesiastes:

Ecc 7:1 A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth.

“A good name” is not a matter of the name ‘Smith’ versus the name ‘Jones’. It certainly has nothing to do with whether God’s name is Jehovah or Yahweh. “A good name” in scripture is simply a matter of living a life that is faithful to and obedient to “the commandments of God”.

Here is what the holy spirit wants us to think when we concern ourselves with “the name of God”:

Rom 2:23 Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God?
Rom 2:24 For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written.

“A good name” is a life that does not “break the law… of Christ”, and a life which does not blaspheme His name by claiming to be His while ignoring what He says:

Mat 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

Luk 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, nd do not the things which I say?

The way we honor the name of God has nothing whatsoever to do with physical phonetics, rather it has everything to do with whether we conduct our lives in accord with “the things [He] says” and whether we “do the will of [our] Father which is in heaven”.

When we “do the will of [our] Father which is in heaven” we will be “dy[ing] daily… [being] crucified with Christ, [and] presenting our bodies as living sacrifices to God”. In doing that we will have no trouble understanding why we are told that “the day of [one’s] death is better than the day of one’s birth”.

This verse will also become very clear to us, especially when we understand that both food and clothing in scripture, are types of the Words of God:

Isa 4:1 And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.

Once we are given to appreciate the great blessing that is granted to all those upon whom the seven last plagues are poured out in this age, we will have no trouble understanding why we are told:

Ecc 7:2 It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.
Ecc 7:3 Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.

Being in the house of mourning is better than being in the house of feasting. Why is that so? It is the Truth simply because it is the end of all in Adam to be brought to mourn the loss of our old man, and all that pertains to the things of the flesh. “For that [“mourning”] is the end of all men…”

“Sorrow is better than laughter” for what reason? “For by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.” Constant and consistent physical blessings do not enlarge or strengthen our hearts to be a “living sacrifice” in the service of our Lord and His Christ. Enduring tribulations and persecutions for Christ’s name’s sake, on the other hand, does “make the heart better”.

Consider this part of “the revelation of Jesus Christ”. Consider what the scriptures reveal to be essential to entering into the temple of God:

Rev 15:7 And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever.
Rev 15:8 And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.

These “seven last plagues” which fill up “the wrath of God”, are poured out upon the kingdom of our old man. Only then can our old man’s sorrow make the heart of the new man within us better and wiser.

So we are told:

Ecc 7:4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.

We can read these words, and we can even agree with them intellectually, but it is simply not natural to want to be “in the house of mourning”. We do not just naturally choose to follow in the footsteps of our Lord. It requires the seven plagues of the seven angels to drag us to the house of mourning.

Joh 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw [Greek – drag] him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

Joh 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

It is through the seven plagues of the seven angels that Christ rebukes the old man within us, dragging us as utter fools out of the house of mirth and into the house of mourning.

Ecc 7:5 It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools.
Ecc 7:6 For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool: this also is vanity.

“The crackling of thorns under a pot” is the burning out of our lives of all the “wood, hay and stubble”. It is the pain that is the seven plagues of the seven angels, which brings us to repent of our foolish ways. Foolishness is the essence of the carnal mind, because it is foolish indeed to contend with, reprove and condemn our own Maker.

Job is an Old Testament type of those who are even now enduring the fiery trials which are the judgment that is now upon the house of God. Here is what happened to Job as the type and shadow of all those who are the first to be judged in this life:

Job 40:1 Moreover the LORD answered Job, and said,
Job 40:2 Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? he that reproveth God, let him answer it.
Job 40:3 Then Job answered the LORD, and said,
Job 40:4 Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth.
Job 40:5 Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further.
Job 40:6 Then answered the LORD unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
Job 40:7 Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.
Job 40:8 Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?

Like Job, Solomon cannot appreciate the judgment of God. To both, as the type of our old man, our trials are nothing more than “vanity and a vexation of spirit”, and a thing for which we should “contend with… reprove… [and] condemn” God.

Job 9:17 For he [God] breaketh me with a tempest, and multiplieth my wounds without cause.

Like Job, King Solomon was at one time at peace with God. At that time he prophesied of his own apostasy:

Pro 14:16 A wise man feareth [the chastening of God] , and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident.

But God has preordained that being a foolish ‘Job’ is the first step to becoming a wise and patient ‘Job’, just as He has also ordained for all mankind to have the wood, hay and stubble burned out of our lives as the necessary first step to being “saved yet so as by fire”.

1Co 3:12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
1Co 3:13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
1Co 3:14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
1Co 3:15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

But the wisdom of wise men like King Solomon does not appreciate the chastening of God, and count it only as unjustified “oppression”:

Ecc 7:7 Surely oppression maketh a wise man mad; and a gift destroyeth the heart.

Isaiah was given to understand what God thinks of the wisdom of this world:

Isa 44:25 [God] That frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish;

Christ knew that a gift serves only to destroy the heart. It has been said that the worst thing any parent can do for his child is to give that child everything he wants. We simply do no appreciate things that we do not work to earn. While it is made crystal clear that our works are actually Christ’s works, we are still told to “work our your own salvation…”

Php 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
Php 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

Like all of us, King Solomon will be judged out of his own mouth, and one day, like Job, he will be brought to appreciate the chastening and scourging of “the seven plagues of the seven angels” (Rev 15:7-8). Only then will he appreciate the depth of the Truth of these the words out of his own mouth:

Ecc 7:8 Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.
Ecc 7:9 Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.

Like Job, we are all at first “hasty in spirit” and we “despise the chastening of the Lord”:

Heb 12:5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
Heb 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

This scourging of “every son whom He receives” is described in the 16th chapter of the revelation of Jesus Christ and is called “the seven last plagues… [which] fill up the wrath of God.”

Rev 15:1 And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.

Rev 15:7 And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever.
Rev 15:8 And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.

All the natural resentment expressed to this chastening and scourging, as is expressed in Revelation 16, is called contending with, reproving, and condemning our Maker for His way of expressing His love for us.

Rev 16:8 And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.
Rev 16:9 And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues:
Rev 16:10 And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain,
Rev 16:11 And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.

Blaspheming the name of God is common to all men, and is one reason for which “no man [can] enter the temple till the seven plagues of the seven angels is fulfilled” in the lives of us all.

In the end the scriptures assure us that the fire of these very words of God will burn out all the blasphemous thoughts from the hearts and minds of all men, and death itself will be destroyed, and all in Adam will then come to be in Christ.

2Sa 14:14 For we must needs die, and are as water spilt on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again; neither doth God respect any person: yet doth he devise means, that his banished be not expelled from him.

1Co 3:15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

1Co 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

1Ti 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
1Ti 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

Isa 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

1Ti 4:9 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation.
1Ti 4:10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.
1Ti 4:11 These things command and teach.

2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

1Jn 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

Next week, if the Lord wills, we will consider whether it is possible for mankind to make straight that which God has made crooked:

Ecc 7:10 Say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? for thou dost not enquire wisely concerning this.
Ecc 7:11 Wisdom is good with an inheritance: and by it there is profit to them that see the sun.
Ecc 7:12 For wisdom is a defence, and money is a defence: but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it.
Ecc 7:13 Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which he hath made crooked?
Ecc 7:14 In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.
Ecc 7:15 All things have I seen in the days of my vanity: there is a just man that perisheth in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man that prolongeth his life in his wickedness.
Ecc 7:16 Be not righteous over much; neither make thyself over wise: why shouldest thou destroy thyself?
Ecc 7:17 Be not over much wicked, neither be thou foolish: why shouldest thou die before thy time?
Ecc 7:18 It is good that thou shouldest take hold of this; yea, also from this withdraw not thine hand: for he that feareth God shall come forth of them all.

 

 

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