Devotional on Ecclesiastes

2003 – Cripple Creek, Colorado

Life after death
Ecclesiastes 3: Who knows if there’s anything else to life?
One of the concerns of Solomon as he seeks meaning is what happens when life is finished. As far as he can tell animals and humans are pretty much alike; made of flesh, breathing the same air, and, upon death returning to the dust. It may be, he theorizes, that the human spirit survives death, but he really doesn’t have any proof of that. His conclusion is that since thereโ€™s uncertainty on this topic that a person ought to live life to the fullest right now because there may be no tomorrow. One thing we need to remember as we read Ecclesiastes is that weโ€™re following Solomon on his quest for truth. Heโ€™s telling us his “in process” conclusions. To pick out a line here and there and state it as though this is Solomon’s final verdict is unfair to him. In the first part of the book he explains what heโ€™s doing and we ought to remember that as we read his words. Another thing to remember is that he speaks from a purely Old Testament perspective. It isn’t until the first Easter and the understanding of life after death that develops from it that we have, as Paul Harvey would say, “the rest of the story.” In these words of Solomon we have the opinion of the secular humanist. When Jesus tells us that those who believe in him will never die we have the authority of the Son of God. The answer to Solomon’s “who knows” is this: “Jesus knows.” For someone who doesn’t have faith in Jesus to arrive at the same conclusion as Solomon is perfectly reasonable. As a believer in Jesus, though, I have the answer: “My Lord knows and he has told me that there is life after life.”
Take Away: The only real authority on the subject has told us that there is life after death, and that how we live now has a direct bearing on what that after-life will be like.

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