Useful Bible Studies > Ecclesiastes Commentary > chapter 9

Does hope, or chance, rule this world?

Ecclesiastes 9:3-4

Nobody knows what opportunities or difficulties he will have in this world. It all seems to be a matter of chance.

So, many people think that chance rules this world. But the Bible teaches that something much worse than chance has great power in this present world.

It is evil forces that ruin people’s lives. It is evil desires that fill people’s hearts (minds). And that is why people often do not act in a sensible manner. Those evil forces are real and they are powerful. And those evil forces want to send people to hell.

But through their whole lives, people hope that good things will happen to them. Hope is an important part of all our lives. Of course, our evil desires often cause us to hope for wrong things. But hope itself is something good.

For example, most people hope that they will go to heaven. Until someone actually knows God, that hope is just a possibility in their mind. It seems a matter of chance. But the hope of heaven gives some people the opportunity to find out about God. So, they may pray and they may read the Bible. There, they can learn to confess their evil deeds to God and to invite him into their lives. And then their hope becomes certain (Hebrews 6:19).

Lions are bold, impressive animals. Wild dogs are cruel and nasty. But while a dog is alive, someone can teach it to be loyal and to obey instructions. So there is hope even for a wild dog. Someone can change its nature. But nobody can do anything for a dead lion.

People have evil hearts. That is, evil desires fill their minds (Romans 3:10-18). But there is still hope: God can change a person completely (2 Corinthians 5:17). However, he will only do that if a person trusts him during this life. Afterwards, it is too late (Luke 16:19-31). And then people will have lost their opportunity to go to heaven.

For that reason, Paul urged people that they should trust God to save them now (2 Corinthians 6:2). They must not delay.

Next part: What happens to wicked people after death? (Ecclesiastes 9:5-6)

 

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© 2014, Keith Simons.