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The Scriptorium

Life is God's Gift

Life? It's the gift of God, of course.

Ecclesiastes 3.12, 13
12I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives, 13and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor--it is the gift of God.

The Story: At the beginning of this section Solomon raised the question he had pondered “under the sun” in 2.18-22. Now, however, in the context of his primary theme, Solomon’s answer is much more hopeful. Given the sovereignty of God (vv. 1-8), His granting men insight into His works (vv. 10, 11), and man’s having been made for eternity, Solomon counsels joy and good works as that with which a man should fill up his life. Life and its many vicissitudes are gifts from God; therefore men are advised to receive life as such, to use the gifts God gives them as God intends, and to know the pleasure of the Lord in all the work they do all the days of their lives. Such an approach to life is only possible under the heavens, that is, looking to God, resting in His eternal and perfect wisdom, and seeking to discern His will for every area of life.

The Structure: This is life as God intends it – joyful, pleasurable, filled with thanksgiving and good works (cf. Rom. 14.17, 18). This doesn’t mean that we won’t know trials and sorrow; nor does it imply that we will always be able to understand everything that happens to us. God alone is sovereign, omniscient, and all-wise. While people live on the earth they must rest in His goodness and sovereignty, seeking in all they do to discover how God intends for them to live before Him, according to the times and seasons of their lives. This is the life of faith, of waiting upon the Lord, and of serving Him and His purposes in everything we do. In these verses Solomon gives us a glimpse ahead to the lifestyle of the redeemed who, as they await the consummation of all things, look to God through Jesus Christ and offer their lives up with gratitude in service to Him each day.

Why does it make sense to say that thanksgiving should play a large part in the life of a believer? What do we say by giving thanks to God in and for all things?

Each week’s studies in our Scriptorium column are available in a free PDF form, suitable for personal or group use. For this week’s study, “Heart of the Matter: Ecclesiastes 3,” simply click here.

T. M. Moore

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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