By nature, people are uncomfortable reflecting on life’s hardest realities, such as the uncertainty of the future and the certainty of death. Instead of considering our existence beyond this life, we often choose to focus on the fleeting pleasures of this world. However, our hearts will remain restless until we find rest in the God who created us.
Ecclesiastes 8:1-13 ESV
Keep the King’s Command
8 Who is like the wise?
And who knows the interpretation of a thing?
A man’s wisdom makes his face shine,
and the hardness of his face is changed.
2 I say:[a] Keep the king’s command, because of God’s oath to him.[b] 3 Be not hasty to go from his presence. Do not take your stand in an evil cause, for he does whatever he pleases. 4 For the word of the king is supreme, and who may say to him, “What are you doing?” 5 Whoever keeps a command will know no evil thing, and the wise heart will know the proper time and the just way.[c] 6 For there is a time and a way for everything, although man’s trouble[d] lies heavy on him. 7 For he does not know what is to be, for who can tell him how it will be? 8 No man has power to retain the spirit, or power over the day of death. There is no discharge from war, nor will wickedness deliver those who are given to it. 9 All this I observed while applying my heart to all that is done under the sun, when man had power over man to his hurt.
Those Who Fear God Will Do Well
10 Then I saw the wicked buried. They used to go in and out of the holy place and were praised[e] in the city where they had done such things. This also is vanity.[f] 11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed speedily, the heart of the children of man is fully set to do evil. 12 Though a sinner does evil a hundred times and prolongs his life, yet I know that it will be well with those who fear God, because they fear before him. 13 But it will not be well with the wicked, neither will he prolong his days like a shadow, because he does not fear before God.