Useful Bible Studies > Ecclesiastes Commentary > chapter 9

Can religion save people from their troubles?

Ecclesiastes 9:2

People cannot avoid their troubles in this life by means of religion. Even people who have a genuine relationship with God still suffer the same kinds of troubles. All people are alike, and similar things happen to everyone. But some people have always believed that they could save themselves from trouble by means of religion.

That was why many people gave expensive gifts to God. Really, they were trying to pay God for his help. Of course, it is hard to afford such gifts. So some people used a cheaper method. They promised to give their gift to God only if their prayer was successful.

Those gifts and those promises were not a proper use of religion. The correct reason for gifts to God should be to give honour to God. Those people were not giving honour to God Ė they were trying to control him. And their gifts and promises did not achieve their purpose. All things happen alike to everyone. That is a basic rule in this world, and their gifts did not change anything.

Such people could have learned an important lesson from the religion of unclean people. To them, however, that would have seemed a very strange idea. Unclean people were those people who had to separate themselves from other people, often because of a particular illness. Because they were unclean, they could not go to Godís house. So, they could not go to the public ceremonies of religion. But they could still pray in private. They could still have a genuine relationship with God. All people are alike, and even unclean people could be Godís people.

Next part: Does hope, or chance, rule this world? (Ecclesiastes 9:3-4)

 

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© 2014, Keith Simons.