“Everything is the same for everyone; there is one condition — to the righteous, to the wicked, to the good, to the clean, to the unclean, to the one bringing a sacrifice, to the one who does not bring a sacrifice. It is for the good man and the sinner alike — to the one who pledges an oath and to the one who fears making the pledge. This is an evil with respect to all that is done under the sun because there is one condition for all. Also, the heart of the sons of man is full of evil — blindness is in their hearts while they live — after which they go toward death.”
On the surface, these words can seem rather depressing…unless you pay close attention to the phrase, “under the sun.” Once again, Solomon is offering an earthly perspective and if one rests in the earthly perspective alone, then there is little more than despair — everyone dies. As we have noted before, it is the great equalizer. Further, good things happen to the life of the wicked and bad things happen in the life of the saint…under the sun.
Up until this point I have resisted making a contrast between those things done “under the sun” and those things done “under the Son” — that is, under Jesus Christ. That is a convenient little bit of wordplay, but it only makes sense in English and not in Hebrew. Yet, while the wordplay is artificial, the principle to which it points is not. There is a different perspective one gets when one looks at things from a position of faith and the promise of salvation from eternal judgment.
The sad thing is that often Christians do not make that distinction. Often they find themselves in deep frustration and depression because they see that other people have such good things and they are struggling just to eek out a living. Yet, beloved, what are these slight affliction in comparison to the eternal weight of glory for which we are headed in Christ (2 Corinthians 4:17)? Those who worry and complain about their lot lack the perspective we need to walk through this life in faith. Those believers who have been blessed with abundance too struggle, but against a sense of self-empowerment and self-sufficiency. Indeed, the Christian life is not for those who are faint of heart.
Indeed, we all go on toward death…what is next makes all the difference in the world.