Lent Devotional: Ecclesiastes 8
by Jonathan Haefs
Ecclesiastes 8 (click here)
Then I saw the wicked buried. They used to go in and out of the holy place and were praised in the city where they had done such things. This also is vanity. 11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed speedily, the heart of the children of man is fully set to do evil. 12 Though a sinner does evil a hundred times and prolongs his life, yet I know that it will be well with those who fear God, because they fear before him. 13 But it will not be well with the wicked, neither will he prolong his days like a shadow, because he does not fear before God. (Ecclesiastes 8:10-13)
Perspective changes everything. Solomon often speaks of the injustice in all he observes “under the sun.” Many times, the wicked seem to enjoy the “rewards” of life while the righteous suffer. Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Doesn’t this make pursuing righteousness vanity?
It would…if “under the sun” was the only perspective from which to view the world. However, Solomon is able to step back and somewhat view things from God’s perspective…an eternal perspective. From the vantage point of eternity he sees that it will be well with those who fear God…and for those who don’t fear God…well…let’s just say it “won’t be well.”
God is just and his justice enables us to live in peace amidst a world of seeming injustice. We can bless when we’re cursed, forgive when we’re wronged, worship amidst suffering…because we know that God will set all things right. We know that what happens under the sun is not the end, but that God will bring all to account when our days under the sun are done. He is just, and this frees us to live lives of love and forgiveness.
*The complete SVCC Lenten reading guide is available here.