Words of Wisdom: Even in the Extremes of Life: God is There! Ecclesiastes 7:14-18
In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity, consider: without question, God has made the one as well as the other, so that man cannot discover anything that will come after him. In my futile life I have seen everything: there is a righteous man who perishes in spite of his righteousness, and there is a wicked man who lives long in spite of his evil. Don’t be excessively righteous, and don’t be overly wise. Why should you destroy yourself? Don’t be excessively wicked, and don’t be foolish. Why should you die before your time? It is good that you grasp the one and do not let the other slip from your hand. For the one who fears God will end up with both of them. Eccl 7:14-18 (HCSB)
Life and death are a part of the cycle of our time on this earth. Yet, God is with us all the time, in everything, and with every step of the journey of life, even well after our death. How can we believe that at any time God is not involved in our lives? Will we ever be that good, that wise and righteous that we can walk alone without God’s presence? Or, can we ever be so wicked that God will abandon us and we walk alone without God’s presence? On this side of heaven, at what point would God, our Creator, consider His mission complete with us, or declare His mission has failed with anyone of us?
God uses adversity and prosperity for His greater purposes in shaping and molding us. He allows us to experience right living as well as wrong living choices, so that we will be able to choose for ourselves what is right and wrong. I believe that the story about Adam and Eve reveals a truth about God’s relationship with man: God desires man and woman to choose through their free will the way in life they should go, and to do so God allowed us to know the difference between good and evil. If we only knew “good,” how would we have a free will choice between good and evil, because we would have no knowledge of evil? How can one love if they do not understand hate or the absence of love? However, God never wanted us to live in one extreme or the other – our lives are to experience the fullness and awareness of living so that we can make the choices we need to make. God also allows us to realize how life would be if we chose to live without Him in life.
Through it all, all the extremes in this life and the death that we all will certainly face someday, God is with us, whether we accept Him or not. Even when we reject Him, He is there! He loves even those who claim to dismiss Him or hate Him, and He will not let go until a person arrives through death’s door rejecting Him, and then God says with a tear, “I tried, but have it your way!” And, your wish becomes eternal reality – separation from God and everything and everyone God loves. That is the choice of Hell! Yet, God wants you to know that light, love, laughter and living with others are absent in Hell. Think about the choices God makes the next time you believe you will reject God’s will, God’s ways, and God’s wisdom according to God’s Word. God is trying to show you His love in the good times and the bad times, through life and death. Consider the freedom of choice He gave you.
“For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world that He might judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. Anyone who believes in Him is not judged, but anyone who does not believe is already judged, because he has not believed in the name of the One and Only Son of God. This, then, is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. For everyone who practices wicked things hates the light and avoids it, so that his deeds may not be exposed. But anyone who lives by the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be shown to be accomplished by God.” John 3:16-21 (HCSB)