The Gift and the Giver

Ecclesiastes 8:15 – Then I commended mirth, because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry: for that shall abide with him of his labour the days of his life, which God giveth him under the sun.

Solomon, the preacher of Ecclesiastes, continued his reflections on the value of work in life.  The Preacher laments that all his good may have no lasting effect (8:10-12). Solomon was restless in his search for wisdom and regretful over his own mistakes (8:16).  He was overwhelmed by the vast number of issues that demanded his attention (8:17).  However, he had an inspired realization: there comes a point where trying to figure out why and how things happen becomes an exercise in futility (8:16-17).  Sandwiched in the middle of the text is Solomon’s practical advice: enjoy what you’ve been given in life (8:15).  Enjoy your work.  Enjoy your family.  Enjoy food and fellowship.  Look for joy despite the concerns, conundrums, and complexities of life.  Enjoy worship in the fear of the Lord.  Have the personal integrity to live in awe and reverence to the Lord and remember that God has the final word (8:12-13).  These actions were a remedy for overwhelming anxiety.  He did not make excuses in his observations; he simplified his perspective and determined to focus on what he could control.  The only thing he could control is himself.  He could control his attitude and actions.  Although he was a man of many mistakes, his conclusions motivated him to refocus his life on loving the Lord.  Every good thing came from Him, and loving the Giver is the best way to appreciate the gifts of life (James 1:17).

Is your heart fixed on the Lord?  Enjoy the gifts, and love the Giver.  A decision to faithfully love the Lord will lead to a faithful life of joy and peace.

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