Ralph's Daily Devotional - Wednesday, April 18

For many, Ecclesiastes 9:1-6 has caused a great deal of debate and discussion.  In fact, it is one of the passages used to defend the erroneous belief that there is no life after death.  I was amazed years ago to realize how very many Jews ignorantly believe that there is no reward or life after death.  But Christians can also be just as foolish. 

These verses are not speaking of life after death in the sense of life with God.  They are speaking about life "under the sun."  That is, they are speaking of this earthly physical life.  In other words, after death we know nothing of what is happening on Earth.  Also, material riches are gone and we are no longer alive to enjoy them.  That is the meaning of these verses.  To prove this, we need only go to Psalm 23 where David states, "I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."

I can cite many more Old Testament passages, such as those of Daniel speaking of the time when many who sleep in the dust shall awake (Daniel 12) or the Messiah ruling over God's people forever (Isaiah 9:6-7).  In other words, the Old Testament does indeed promise eternal life with God, and we need to see these verses in Ecclesiastes in their proper context and meaning.  It doesn't take a scholar to see this. The words "under the sun" should be self-evident, describing life in this world and not life in Heaven.

However, for Christians, the teachings and promises of everlasting life are even more abundant.  Jesus said: "I am the resurrection and the life.  He who believes in me will never die."  Jesus told the dying thief on the cross, "This day you will be with me in paradise."  Paul speaks of our life with God in 2 Corinthians 5:1-10.  There are many more passages I could quote as well.  May the hope of life with God both now and forever keep our hearts focused and encouraged.

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