“What do people really get for all their hard work? I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. So, I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God.” Ecclesiastes 3:9-13
The Book of Ecclesiastes is my favorite book of the Bible because it finds balance between the harsh reality of Life and God’s teachings. There are many of instances that we have experienced the harsh reality of Life: broken promises, unfulfilled expectations, or shattered dreams. However, it is in the Book of Ecclesiastes that the Teacher, King David’s son, finds peace and understanding with God’s teachings.
In each chapter he uses a series of examples–wealth, wisdom, popularity, pleasure–and how each of them ultimately ends in disappointment; but only if it becomes the sole reason for one’s existence.The Teacher believes that there must be balance in all facets of life, but one must always recognize God and give thanks to what he has given onto his children.
And so, in this verse, we see that the Teacher questions the act of labor by asking “why do people work so hard?”–knowing that the ‘burden of labor’ is so much more greater than the actual fruits of labor. However, it is after the Teacher’s realization of God’s beautiful creation in Life that he concludes that God’s gifts is much more greater than the ‘burden of labor’–and we should not deny God’s gifts of creation.
The Teacher recognize the toils of work that God has placed on us, but he also recognizes the gifts that God has provided for us all to enjoy. It is with this analysis that the Teacher says that we should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of our labor, for these are the gifts from God.
This week’s spiritual lesson: Work hard, but enjoy and give thanks to the fruits of your labor that has been provided for you by God.
- Weekly Spiritual Digest: The Good Samaritan (princesdailyjournal.com)