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Background Considerations

Why are we so sensitive to acts of injustice? Deep within us there is a voice that tells us when something is not just or right.

The author of Ecclesiastes, once more, talks about the righteous and the wicked as sharing a common destiny and this is what he considers as an evil. As he reflects on life’s mysteries he makes several statements on what happens to human beings when they die.

Relevant Biblical Passages

  1. Ecclesiastes 9:1-3. If everything that happens in life is in God’s hands, why then does the same destiny overtake all? The psalmist wondered: “Surely in vain have I kept my heart pure; in vain have I washed my hands in innocence” (Psalm 73:2). In other words, why should we do all the right things in life?
  2. Ecclesiastes 9:4-10. Why is it hard for so many people to accept the fact that “dead know nothing?”
    What are some of God’s blessings that the author is calling us to enjoy?
  3. Ecclesiastes 9:11-12. What are some of the things that lie beyond our control? Is a strong belief in God’s sovereignty the same as fatalism?

Lessons for Life

Often in life it seems that people do not get what they deserve. Several passages in the Bible such as Psalms 37, 73, and Habakkuk 1-2 address this issue. The prophet Jeremiah once wondered: “Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all the faithless live at ease” (Jer. 12:1)?

The author of Ecclesiastes also pondered these issues in several places of his book. He came to the conclusion that the righteous persons will live by their faith in God.

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