Some people really enjoy their work. The Monday morning feeling, for them, is springing out of bed and bounding to work-related with joy and zeal. Others yet find work simply a drudge – something they need to do to salary the bills. It's Monday however Friday's coming.
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After having encountered sex, pleasure, food, entertainment and, as we saw last week, wisdom, Solomon currently turns come this question of job-related (Ecclesiastes 2: 17-26). And it's clear that he's ~ above the next of the 'It's Monday yet Friday's coming' people. 'So i hated life, since the job-related that is excellent under the sun was grievous come me, all of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.'
He hates toil, the everyday grind – one's daily responsibilities. We execute all the work and what's the suggest of it? We can say the we are doing it because that our family, however what if the person coming ~ us damages all the great work we have done? A good example that this was Solomon's own son Rehoboam, who damaged much that his father's occupational in structure up the kingdom. Below again wisdom and folly come right into play – you have the right to work during your life v wisdom and end up leaving it all to a fool! therefore what is the suggest of wisdom?
It is small wonder that his heart 'began to despair' (verse 20). In spite of wisdom, knowledge and also skill over there is no escaping death and there is no guaranteeing what comes after. For this reason what does every this work and also toil achieve? Sweet nothing. Nothing other than pain and also the sleepless nights caused by the disappointed of understanding that the is every pointless. Solomon reflects that existential angst existed long prior to Sartre and Camus discovered it.
So countless of us have the right to identify with the picture Solomon paints. You work hard, whether it's physical labour or psychological exertion, and then at night once you are an alleged to it is in recharging her batteries you space so emphasize you can not sleep. Over there is no escape indigenous the daily grind. In the words of the good Swedish philosophers, Abba: 'I work-related all night, I occupational all work to salary the bills I need to pay – yet still there never seems to be a single penny left because that me. In my desires I have actually a arrangement – if I gained me a affluent man...'
Or together the Canadian novelist Douglas Coupland puts it: 'As the expression goes, we invest our youth attaining wealth, and also our wealth attaining youth.' we work hard when we are young in stimulate to obtain money to help us look at young once we space old!
Solomon's summary 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 also be merry, for tomorrow us die. Is that it? Is there yes, really nothing much better and nothing an ext to life.?
In verses 24-26 there is a change. God is brought into the equation. Together the Italian proverb states, 'He who leaves God the end of his reckoning does not know exactly how to count.' This is what happens once we perform so. The holy bible is no 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 through the bigger photo and talks around the life that faith.
Life is to be enjoyed. We space actually expected to reap the an easy things in life – eat, drink and enjoy our work. This is not the greed that the wealthy fool – (build bigger and bigger barns because that retirement) nor the mundane, unreal and hopeless life of the unbeliever where as ernst Becker observes, 'they tranquilize themselves v the trivial' come live 'normal' lives. The is no licentiousness nor cynicism – but contentment. The Christian learn to be content whatever the circumstances.
And of course this cannot take location without Christ. God provides wisdom, knowledge and also joy to the human who pleases him. The comparison with the human who go not recognize God and who does no take his life from the hand of God is strong.
We are given the an option of 2 worldviews, of 2 kinds of life.
On the one hand secular pessimism leads to a vicious one of a pointless world, short-lived pleasures, fruitless work, futile wisdom, and also inevitable death. ~ above the other, life from the hand the God is, come borrow a phrase, life lived to the max. This is the God who provides us all things richly to enjoy, the One who together with Christ, graciously provides us all things that us need. 'Blessed space the meek, for they will certainly inherit the earth' (Matthew 5:5). 'Sorrowful, yet constantly rejoicing; poor, yet making numerous rich; having nothing, and also yet possessing everything' (2 Corinthians 6:10).
The comparison is viewed in how that works out. Take the concern of sleep. The Christian can, like her mr in the storm, lay down their head and rest. Ns love the story the Peter in jail (Acts 12:6). The night before Herod to be to lug him come trial, Peter was sleeping in between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and also sentries was standing guard at the entrance. Chained and imprisoned, around to be carried to trial because that his life, and he sleeps choose a baby. 'He offers his lovely sleep' (Psalm 127:2).
As for work, if you space a Christian then no matter just how mundane or daunting the task might be, you have actually the joy of understanding that the is done for the Lord.'Therefore, mine dear brothers, stand firm. Allow nothing relocate you. Always give yourselves completely to the job-related of the Lord, since you know that your labour in the lord is no in vain' (1 Corinthians 15:58).
I met one owner that a pub restaurant that told me of a Christian dishwasher she work – who as a young male on a minimum wage nevertheless functioned with such joy, honesty and vigour that she was compelled to ask him why. He described that he love Jesus and did it because that him.
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Instead that hating our work and hating life, that all world Christians space those that really deserve to live life come the max. And none of the is pointless or meaningless through Christ. That should transform our occupational practices and environments this Monday morning! obtain Christ. Gain life.
David Robertson is combine Director that Solas CPC in Dundee and minister at St Peter's complimentary Church. Monitor him on Twitter