Ecclesiastes 9:10 ~ "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going."
Oh, my friends, let this be a day of service for you. There are labors that must be accomplished, and tasks that must be done. For time is a swift companion on this journey in life. In this land of mortal flesh, before we enter into the realm of eternity, we have tasks set before us that must be done.
From the beginning, work was a required expression of man. God created man and placed him in the garden with the direct command to work it. Genesis 2:15 says, "The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it." Even after the fall, when mankind was thrust out of the paradise garden of God and back upon the dust, the Divine command to work still remained, "Therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken" (Genesis 3:23).
A current dilemma in our modern age is the notion that work is a burden to be borne and not the noble expression of the life. Many cringe at the notion of having to do hard work, fearing that somehow it is a punishment inflicted. We hear of those who are sentenced to "hard labor" as a deterrent against pursuing further crimes. Retirement, for some, is the grand hope of being able to enjoy the lackadaisical life of rest and ease.
Our text today instructs us to work at "whatever your hand finds to do." That is, whatever is set before you and you can reach out and accomplish--that which is for the glory of God, the benefit of others and industrious in life--let that be your task. It does not indicate a specific industry, as if we all had the same task. It is whatever YOUR hand finds to do. My hands will find other labors than yours, and so striving to live out a comparison against another is faulty at best. Yet, let those three qualifications guide you into the work set before you: God's glory, man's benefit and personal industry.
Remember, also, that we are to live out our life as an imitator of God (see Ephesians 5:1). God is always at work, as we discover in John 5:17, "But Jesus answered them, 'My Father is working until now, and I am working.'" Now, we understand that we cannot do what God can do. But to bear His reflection, let us do what we can do.
And this brings us to the measure by which you put your hands to the work: "with all your might." Half-hearted effort does not bring forth the quality of work that should be acceptable to your own heart, let alone acceptable to God. Saying "it's good enough" is a poor expression for the believing soul. Paul told the Colossian church, "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men" (Colossians 3:23). This does not preclude those times of rest, reflection or retreat in order to revitalize your life and enter back into the work. But once you have laid your hand to the plow, then press on until you can say about your own labor: it is finished.
And, finally, there is a reason for such determination in the work--for the time will come when your days will be ended on this earth and the opportunity to do the work laid before you must come to a close. The close of business happens for everyone, and all must come to the day of reckoning before God. All our works will be tested. 1 Corinthians 3:12-13 states, "Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw—each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done."
Let us be as the Thessalonians, for whom the Apostle Paul gave such thanks, "We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thessalonians 1:2-3).
In His Grace,
From the Mountains to the Sea
Every step we take on this journey called life ought to be used for greater understanding. I've lived from the mountains to the sea, and this blog is my personal thoughts and observations with a desire for Biblical understanding. Welcome.