The Good life
I call the book of Ecclesiastes "The Man Book". It is the first-hand observations of Solomon regarding life's ultimate meaning and purpose- especially as it relates to men. Most of what he says is to point away from what is "not", but throughout the book he leaves snippets of what "is".
In our text for today, Solomon succinctly lists the things in life that are worth a man's effort:
Ecclesiastes 9:7 Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for God has already approved what you do. 8 Always be clothed in white, and always anoint your head with oil. 9 Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun—all your meaningless days. For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun. 10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.
Here's Solomon's short list:
Verse 7 "Eat and drink" - This isn't simply about consumption, it's about fellowship. Eating and drinking together is a spiritual fellowship activity in the human experience. Men especially have great need for fellowship (as witnessed by the numerous "fraternal orginizations" in every culture througout the ages).
Verse 8 "Anoint your head" - Attitude is a choice. It's your choice. So choose well. Every day choose to have a positive attitude (that's really what this is reffering to- trust me).
Verse 9 "Your wife" - Most men are to be married. Finding joy in your wife, growing old together and more deeply committed in your love to her with each passing day- is one of the most important and rewarding things you will ever do!
Verse 10 "Do it" - Work that is. Do it well. Do it with all your effort. Do it like you're working for God. (Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.)
I love God's Word! It gets right to the practical points I need to hear to get me pointed in the right direction.