Useful Bible Studies > Ecclesiastes Commentary > chapter 12

Life and death

Ecclesiastes 12:6

Ecclesiastes 12:6 describes life in the most beautiful manner. But we feel uncomfortable, because the subject of the verse is death, not life.

Life is delicate, like a silver chain that someone has made by hand. A fine chain is very beautiful, but it breaks so easily. Life on this earth is beautiful, but it ends suddenly.

Life is precious, like a gold bowl. Gold was the most expensive metal when the author wrote the Book of Ecclesiastes. You need a lot of gold to make a bowl. But if the bowl breaks, nobody can repair it. Nothing on this earth seems as valuable to us as our lives. But when we die, nobody can give life back to us.

People need a constant supply of water, especially in a dry country. If an accident causes the supply to stop, that is a terrible event. Our lives depend on a constant supply of water, and of many other things, too. And like the water, a single accident is enough to end our lives.

During our whole lives, death seems only a moment away. We all know that we must die. But none of us knows when that will happen. So the author gives the only advice that is sensible in the circumstances. We must remember God! After death, he will be our judge; so we need to have a right relationship with him now.

It is foolish to leave that decision until you are older. You do not know that God will allow you to live any longer. Now you have an opportunity to trust God. Now you have the opportunity to invite him into your life. Your body must die, but your spirit can know life without end, in heaven (John 3:16).

Next part: What happens at death? (Ecclesiastes 12:7)


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© 2019, Keith Simons.