Some people really enjoy their work. The Monday morning feeling, because that them, is springing the end of bed and bounding to job-related with joy and zeal. Others however find work just a drudge – miscellaneous they need to do to pay the bills. It's Monday however Friday's coming.
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After having faced sex, pleasure, food, to chat and, together we saw last week, wisdom, Solomon now turns come this question of occupational (Ecclesiastes 2: 17-26). And also it's clear the he's ~ above the next of the 'It's Monday yet Friday's coming' people. 'So i hated life, due to the fact that the occupational that is done under the sun was grievous to me, every one of it is meaningless, a chasing ~ the wind.'
He no toil, the daily grind – one's daily responsibilities. We execute all the work and also what's the point of it? We can say the we are doing it because that our family, however what if the human being coming after us damages all the good work we have actually done? A good example the this to be Solomon's own son Rehoboam, who damaged much the his father's work-related in structure up the kingdom. Below again wisdom and also folly come right into play – you have the right to work throughout your life with wisdom and end up leaving it every to a fool! therefore what is the point of wisdom?
It is small wonder the his heart 'began to despair' (verse 20). Despite wisdom, knowledge and also skill over there is no escaping death and there is no guaranteeing what come after. For this reason what does all this work and also toil achieve? Sweet nothing. Nothing other than pain and also the sleepless nights caused by the disappointed of discovering that it is all pointless. Solomon reflects that existential angst exist long before Sartre and also Camus uncovered it.
So countless of us have the right to identify through the snapshot Solomon paints. You work-related hard, whether it's physical work or psychological exertion, and also then at night when you are claimed to it is in recharging your batteries you are so emphasize you can not sleep. There is no escape from the daily grind. In the native of the good Swedish philosophers, Abba: 'I work all night, I work-related all job to pay the receipt I have to pay – yet still there never ever seems to it is in a single penny left because that me. In my desires I have actually a arrangement – if I gained me a wealthy man...'
Or as the Canadian novelist Douglas Coupland place it: 'As the expression goes, we invest our youth attaining wealth, and our riches attaining youth.' us work difficult when we space young in stimulate to achieve money to assist us watch young when we space old!
Solomon's description is, 'under the sun' (ie there is no Christ), a realistic, sober and honest assessment of life. For this reason let's eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow us die. Is that it? Is there yes, really nothing much better and nothing more to life.?
In verses 24-26 over there is a change. God is brought into the equation. As the Italian proverb states, 'He who leaves God out of his reckoning does no know exactly how to count.' This is what happens when we do so. The scriptures is not saying, forget every these things – it's no saying over there is no life 'under the sun' or that it does not matter. Instead it provides us v the bigger snapshot and talks around the life the faith.
Life is to be enjoyed. We are actually expected to reap the straightforward things in life – eat, drink and enjoy ours work. This is no the greed of the rich fool – (build bigger and also bigger barns because that retirement) nor the mundane, unreal and also hopeless life of the unbeliever wherein as ernst Becker observes, 'they tranquilize themselves with the trivial' come live 'normal' lives. The is no licentiousness no one cynicism – but contentment. The Christian learn to be content every little thing the circumstances.
And of course this cannot take location without Christ. God gives wisdom, knowledge and also joy come the human who pleases him. The comparison with the human being who does not acknowledge God and who does no take his life native the hand of God is strong.
We are given the an option of 2 worldviews, of two kinds that life.
On the one hand secular pessimism leader to a vicious one of a meaningless world, short-term pleasures, fruitless work, futile wisdom, and inevitable death. ~ above the other, life from the hand the God is, to borrow a phrase, life lived to the max. This is the God who offers us all things richly to enjoy, the One who together with Christ, graciously offers us all points that us need. 'Blessed room the meek, because that they will inherit the earth' (Matthew 5:5). 'Sorrowful, yet constantly rejoicing; poor, yet making numerous rich; having nothing, and yet own everything' (2 Corinthians 6:10).
The comparison is seen in just how that functions out. Take the concern of sleep. The Christian can, like her mr in the storm, lay down their head and also rest. I love the story of Peter in jail (Acts 12:6). The night prior to Herod to be to lug him come trial, Peter to be sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard in ~ the entrance. Chained and imprisoned, about to be carried to trial because that his life, and he sleeps choose a baby. 'He offers his beloved sleep' (Psalm 127:2).
As because that work, if you are a Christian climate no matter how mundane or complicated the task may be, you have the joy of learning that the is done for the Lord.'Therefore, mine dear brothers, was standing firm. Allow nothing relocate you. Constantly give yourselves completely to the work-related of the Lord, since you know that your labour in the mr is not in vain' (1 Corinthians 15:58).
I met one owner that a pub restaurant that told me the a Christian dishwasher she employed – that as a young male on a minimum wage nevertheless operated with together joy, honesty and also vigour the she to be compelled come ask the why. He explained that he loved Jesus and also did it because that him.
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Instead the hating ours work and also hating life, the all human being Christians room those that really deserve to live life to the max. And also none of the is pointless or meaningless with Christ. That should transform our occupational practices and environments this Monday morning! acquire Christ. Gain life.
David Robertson is combine Director that Solas CPC in Dundee and also minister at St Peter's cost-free Church. Follow him on Twitter