LET GOD SORT IT OUT
14 Here’s another example of impermanence reigning in the land: that there are righteous people who get what the wicked deserve, and there are wicked people who get what the righteous deserve. I said that this also shows impermanence. 15 And I commend joy, because man has no good thing under the sun but to eat and drink and be joyful, because this attitude will go with him in his toil through the days of his life that God has given him under the sun. 16 When I applied my heart to know wisdom, and to see the business that is done in the land, how neither day nor night do a person’s eyes see sleep, 17 then I saw all the work of God, that man cannot comprehend the work that is done under the sun. However hard a person may work in investigating, he will not figure it out. Even if a wise man claims to know, he cannot comprehend it.
mystery and joy
The wisdom literature of the Hebrew Bible in general (and conventional wisdom) teaches that if you do what is right, you will be rewarded with a better and longer life. But Solomon points out that this is not always the case. Some deserve judgment and do not get it in this life. Others deserve blessing and do not get it in this life. What happens to people is often a mystery that – like so manty of God’s other activities – remains unsolved. So, Solomon recommends going through life with a good attitude and experiencing joy anyway. Such is the mark of people who are not putting all their hopes in this life.
LORD, keep us every mindful of the mystery of life, and willing to let you sort it all out.