Friday, October 17, 2014
Making A Better Choice
“There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and it is common among men: A man to whom God hath given riches, wealth, and honour, so that he wanteth nothing for his soul of all that he desireth, yet God giveth him not power to eat thereof, but a stranger eateth it: this is vanity, and it is an evil disease.” (Ecclesiastes 6:1-2)
Many times things happen to a person who has been successful and gotten enough so he doesn’t have to worry before he gets to enjoy them, and someone else gets all the benefit. It doesn’t matter whether it is the result of theft, sickness or a death, natural disasters, or government regulations and taxes, it seems like a waste of time to even try. It is unfair and evil that those who are doing what is right lose so much.
“If a man beget an hundred children, and live many years, so that the days of his years be many, and his soul be not filled with good, and also that he have no burial; I say, that an untimely birth is better than he. For he cometh in with vanity, and departeth in darkness, and his name shall be covered with darkness. Moreover he hath not seen the sun, nor known any thing: this hath more rest than the other. Yea, though he live a thousand years twice told, yet hath he seen no good: do not all go to one place?” (Ecclesiastes 6:3-6)
Solomon says that a baby that was born before it could survive is better off than a person who goes through life and doesn’t enjoy it, no matter how long he lives. The stillborn baby hasn’t seen the sun and in eternity, will have no memories of unhappiness. The person who has never learned to enjoy what he has will have nothing but memories of unhappiness throughout eternity. Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Our attitude and thoughts determine whether we are happy or miserable, not our circumstances. Some of the most miserable people are better off than those who are happy. Imagine being stuck with that attitude for eternity.
“All the labour of man is for his mouth, and yet the appetite is not filled. For what hath the wise more than the fool? what hath the poor, that knoweth to walk before the living? Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire: this is also vanity and vexation of spirit.” (Ecclesiastes 6:7-9)
Ultimately every person is working to meet his own desires and needs. He doesn’t work just to have something to make time pass faster. He keeps on doing the things he does because his desires are not satisfied, and that is true whether he is wise or foolish, rich or poor. The poor person realizes the dead have nothing to offer, and seeks living people who can help him. It is better to enjoy what you have than to be thinking about what you would like to have.
I Timothy 1:7-9 reminds us, “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.” Focusing on things we don’t have makes us unhappy and leads to doing things that will ultimately destroy us.
“That which hath been is named already, and it is known that it is man: neither may he contend with him that is mightier than he. Seeing there be many things that increase vanity, what is man the better? For who knoweth what is good for man in this life, all the days of his vain life which he spendeth as a shadow? for who can tell a man what shall be after him under the sun?” (Ecclesiastes 6:10-12)
I Corinthians 10:13 declares, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man…” The struggles we face are not new, but have been experienced by people throughout history. Job 5:7 says, “Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward.” Trouble is part of being alive and there is no way of avoiding problems but there are a lot of things that make them worse. Even our biggest advances in technology create new problems so that it becomes a question whether they really helped or not. Many who have made vast amounts of money and moved in prestigious social circles seek out secluded areas where they farm or do various arts and crafts to get away from the rat race. They are no longer willing to devote their lives to such unsatisfactory pursuits, understanding they won’t matter in the long run.