“It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart. Sorrow is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure.”
Ecclesiastes 7:2-4 NIV1984
This Scripture presents a mindset that is a polar opposite of what we often hear in America. We hear the message of just live and enjoy life! Smile more and don’t think too hard. The Word declares a different message right here, though. Read the verses above again slowly.
“It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting.” That Scripture has impacted me big time as a young Christian man. I have seen two applications which I’d like to share with you. 1) Is it really better to just feast on life or to consider and contemplate some of its hardships like death. If death comes so quickly, how should I live my life? Should I really just not stress about the small stuff, or is the small stuff what determines whether I’ll ever make it to the big stuff (faithfulness principle, Luke 16:10)? While almost everyone young seems to cheer, “just have fun and experience life!” think about your actions. Look at what Ecclesiastes 11:9, 12:1 say:
“Be happy young man, while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you to judgment. . . .Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, “I find no pleasure in them” (NIV1984)
2) Going to a funeral may actually be for your benefit. Preachers know that at a funeral, many more people are open to Christ that may be very stubborn at other times, the reason is because the people are considering death and its reality right then. Eternity seems much closer.
Another point on funerals, even as a Christian, I was impacted by going to a couple of funerals. This verse was in my mind around those times and the tragedies that had occurred also brought many to the side of the family and sharing of the impact that the deceased had made. I was speechless and struck to the heart—life is so fleeting and next to accepting Christ, reaching and touching others’ lives with Him is very important.
What we have looked at today is probably not the most encouraging, but it is the Word. Let’s pray:
Lord Jesus, may You speak to us by Your Holy Spirit who You said will lead us into all truth (John 16:13) and give us insight into what we should do with what we have read. Lord, may every heart be receptive and moldable to Your small, still voice speaking to them. In Jesus Christ’s Mighty Name, may these things be done.
-This blog comes from Ryan’s original blog on blogger on Monday, July 30, 2012