Working for a Living

July 13, 2012 at 9:10 am | Posted in Ecclesiastes | 5 Comments
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In Chapters 4 and 5 of Ecclesiastes Solomon examined earthly institutions and came to the following conclusions:

The government: corrupt
The economy: unbalanced
Church: vain

We have a tendency to adopt a very worldly attitude about our labor. Even though we work for wages – even though we say that we “earn a living” – everything we have that’s any good is really a gift from God. It is important that we do not try to exclude God from certain areas of our lives. God demands faithfulness and His view of faithfulness is pretty extreme. Imagine a husband going away on a business trip and returning home to his wife. “Were you faithful while you were out of town, Dear?” she asks. “I sure was,” he replies. “I was 90% faithful!” I don’t think the wife would be too happy with that response. In God’s opinion, “faithful” means 100% faithful.

Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion.

Ecclesiastes 5:18

Enjoy what God has given you, but remember that God gave it to you.

Why is there such a thing as labor? Why do we “work?” God gave Adam work to do in the Garden of Eden even before sin entered the world, but labor can be frustrating. No matter how many dishes you do, there are always more dirty ones. No matter how many times you mow the grass, it always grows back.

All the labour of man is for his mouth, and yet the appetite is not filled.

Ecclesiastes 6:7

It can be dissatisfying, but our contentment, our satisfaction, will never come from without.

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

Philippians 4:11

We spend so much time planning and calculating and working and scheduling our time based on what we’re going to eat, what we’re going to wear, where we’re going to live. But Christ Jesus said to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness – and all those things will be taken care of by God. If I do what God says, then God will take care of me.

For who knoweth what is good for man in this life, all the days of his vain life which he spendeth as a shadow? for who can tell a man what shall be after him under the sun?

Ecclesiastes 6:12

King Solomon, writing in the Old Testament, asked these questions rhetorically. But, living on this side of the Cross – under the New Testament – we can answer these questions definitively. Who knows what’s good for us in this life? Jesus does. Who can tell us what’s going to happen to us after this life on earth is over? Jesus can.

We can answer these questions with our mouths. Now let’s answer them with our lives.

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  1. […] Supposed to Be 6. Do Birds Sing about Eternity? 7. Good Timing 8. Order in a Fallen World 9. Working for a Living 10. Fresh, Frail, or Fruitful? 11. Two Kinds of Heart Medication 12. Don’t Ruin Your Name 13. […]

  2. […] loved life, which sounds positive, but we have to be careful not to love life itself as a substitute for the […]

  3. […] You’re Supposed to Be 6. Do Birds Sing about Eternity? 7. Good Timing 8. Order in a Fallen World 9. Working for a Living 10. Fresh, Frail, or Fruitful? 11. Two Kinds of Heart Medication 12. Don’t Ruin Your Name 13. […]

  4. […] combated by thankfulness to God, gives rise to the opportunity for faithfulness and service. The “work of the Lord” is work that always needs to be done, and not grudgingly – like a kid having to clean up his […]

  5. […] was set aside as a day of rest to remind them that they were different, and that, despite their labor on the other six days, they really depended upon God for all the blessings of life. Their failure […]


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