Ecclesiastes: Wisdom and Death

Wise or foolish. Powerful or powerless. Whether you can afford a yacht or can’t afford a tank of gas, there is an “event” that happens to us all. One day will be our last day. 

Ecclesiastes 2:12-14
So I turned to consider wisdom and madness and folly. For what can the man do who comes after the king? Only what has already been done. Then I saw that there is more gain in wisdom than in folly, as there is more gain in light than in darkness. The wise person has his eyes in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. And yet I perceived that the same event happens to all of them.

In his commentary on Ecclesiastes, Warren Wiersbe quoted the French essayist Montaigne who wrote, “Philosophy is no other thing than for a man to prepare himself to death.” Wiersbe added, “Only that person is prepared to live who is prepared to die.”¹

I remember a hot Oklahoma afternoon when my dad could hardly breathe. His cancer was taking over his body. We piled in the car and sped to Midwest City, 65 miles south on I-35. I was driving way faster than I should have, not knowing if my dad would still be alive by the time we arrived. When we finally pulled into the emergency room entrance, the attendants took over, moved my dad to a bed, and gave him needed oxygen. A couple of days later, after a long sleepless night for our family, the doctor came in and said, “Today’s the day.” I remember letting those words sink in—today’s the day my dad will die. That morning our family surrounded my dad for his final moments under the sun as he transitioned to life over the sun. 

Every day is someone’s last day. But for those who know Jesus as my dad did, our final day on earth becomes our first day in heaven. When believers are absent from the body, they are present with the Lord. So, here is the one question on life’s exam you must know the answer to. When your body is in a box under the sun, where will your soul be? If you can’t answer that question with certainty, please pray this prayer with me. 

Father, I know that one day I will die. I know life is short, and eternity is long. I want to spend eternity with you. I know that is only possible because of Jesus. Today I trust in him as the only way to live with you forever. I am sorry for my sins. I know I cannot cleanse myself. I know Jesus came to die for my sins, so I turn to you and trust in Jesus. In his name, I pray. Amen. 


¹ Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Satisfied, “Be” Commentary Series (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 36–37.


Today on The Journey:


Engaging in the Battle – Under Attack: The Present – Part 2


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