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Two Certainties of Life

2/25/07 CC/PM

Ecclesiastes 9:1-18

Introduction: Someone has said that the two certainties of life are death and taxes!  That seems to be true.  In our text tonight, Solomon also discusses two certainties in life and gives some advice on how to deal with them along the way.

1.   Life will come to an end  vv. 1-10

There are different ways to view death.  So see it as an accident, others as an appointment!

Hebrews 9:27 (KJV) And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

Life, death, and the deds of man are in the hand of God.

Has your life turned out the way that you imagined that it would?

Verse two infers a question.  If both the righteous and the wicked have death to look forward too, then why does it matter how we live?  Actually because we do have an appointment that will not be cancelled, we must live as prescribed.

Three responses to dealing with death.

1.   Escape (v.3) a refusal to deal with it honestly. Insanity is in their hearts throughout their lives.  What lengths do people go through in order to avoid dealing with death? It seems that people will do just about anything other than repent and deal with their lives.  No one escapes death but many live in denial of it!  After spending a life of trying to escape death, they finally succumb to the inevitable.

2.   Endure (4-6) An optimistic attitude.  How does having and optimistic attitude in life help?  How does that kind of attitude help in death?  Thoise thatr endure simply have a false hope about death and a false hope is no hope!

3.   Enjoy life (7-10) This has been a reoccuring theme with Solomon and we will hear it again.  He is not promoting hedonism.  He is not saying to go wild and try anthything that you think will bring you pleasure. 

What does he put on the list for enjoyment?


    Everyday occurances



All these things are temporary and you should enjoy the opportunity we have with them now!

2.   Life is unpredictable  vv. 11-18

We like to have guarantees in life don’t we?  It seems like if we work hard that we should be rewarded in this life.  It seems like if we hone our abilities and do our very best that we should have an advantage over those who do not.

Verse 11 ends with the great equalizer, that time and chance overtake and can trump any advantage that seems to exist!

What does that teach us.  Back to verse 1, it is all in God’s hand.

Also look at verse 12, like a fish who is caught in a net or a bird in a snare, evil times fall on us when we are unsuspecting.

(13-18) Notoriety that might be rightfully our might go to the “loudmouth” who takes all the credit.

To the person who is simply “under the sun” life is certainly depressing.  To the one who knows the Son, life is exposed for what it truly is, an opportunity to build a future in heaven and serve the King of Kings. 

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