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Dancing Before the Grim Reaper

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
April 9, 2021 12:00 am

Dancing Before the Grim Reaper

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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April 9, 2021 12:00 am

While we are here on earth, God wants us to enjoy the good gifts he has given us. He wants us to live with heaven in mind, but while we're here, we savor His blessings, enjoy the love and companionship of family and friends, and we serve with vigor.

And then, at God’s appointed time, we each will wing our way to that Celestial City where the dancing and the feasting and the singing and serving and the loving and the thanking and the worshipping will go on and on and on in uninterrupted eternal joy.

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God sees what life in heaven will be like what you're doing in life with that simple meal. The joy of your spouse and home and family. The excellence with which you take up whatever the task is you are actually tasting you are preparing for you are you are sampling and an appetizer, you're getting a glimpse of life beyond the curse life beyond the grave. God wants us to enjoy the joy, the love of family and friends and we serve with vigor and then at God's appointed time. We each will wing our way to the celestial city where the dancing and the feasting and the singing and the serving on the loving and the banking and the worshiping will go on and on and on in uninterrupted eternal joy today on wisdom for the hard Stephen Devi has a message for you called dancing before the grim reaper, your Stephen the headline of the newspaper articles around the country publish the news that Coleman Mockler Junior died unexpectedly at the age of 61. Even though he was a household name when he died just 30 years ago you probably never heard of them, a graduate of Harvard with an MBA became the treasurer of a company that had been founded in 1901, making razor blades called the Gillette Company's rise in the corporate world was meteoric within two years he was the vice president than the senior vice president than the Executive Vice President and within nine years of being hired. He was the chairman of the board and the CEO and he would take this company into a global presence.

Under his leadership, the stock value of Gillette increased 50 fold. It was celebrated in the business world quoted is a guru of business management would go on to earn millions in salary and on Wall Street.

Then, at the age of 61.

He announced his early retirement is gonna step down so to speak, while he was ahead, he would ask for the rest of his life in the glow of his successes. Forbes magazine put them on the cover of their next issue published with this picture I've seen a copy of that magazine cover is shown holding a razor in his hand with confidence written all over his face, that magazine addition was going to hit the newsstands in one week, but Forbes decided to send him an advance copy. When was delivered to corporate headquarters is office staff and all the executives stood and clapped and whistled as he carried the magazine back to his office to read in many ways this was the best day of his life. He had no idea it would be his last with his staff, applauding, he stepped into his office shut the door had a massive heart attack and crumpled to the floor. He was gone when the medics arrived to carry him out. He was still clutching that Forbes magazine with his photo on the cover in his hand a magazine issue that now seem terribly and ironically one week too late. Since Solomon is now in his old age. Most of his powerful spirit, control devices, the end of his life at his retirement, so to speak, which is now in view in chapter 9 where we pick it up again if Ecclesiastes. He begins reminiscing on two of his most favorite subject life and death.

Solomon essentially says let's talk about your deed.

They are a reminder of God's authority.

With that, he begins chapter 9 and verse one notice but all this, I laid the heart, examining it all how the righteous and the wise and their deeds are in the hand of God, whether it is love or hate man does not know both are before him. In other words, Solomon is going to leave it to God judges the and determine what was commendable and what was worthless what was worth loving and was worth discarding what Solomon highlights here for us is a reminder that all of our deeds are notice again in the hand of God in the hands of God. Now that doesn't mean were puppets.

That doesn't mean were on strings. God is the puppeteer. It doesn't mean were not responsible for our actions and are our deeds. We are but God has woven our actions good and bad into his purposes, so that everything works out according to his divine plan. Nobody throws a monkeywrench into God's purpose. II guess you could say what Solomon is saying is that God really does have the whole world in his hands. Keep in mind that those hands are now nail scarred the world he created crucified him. They washed their hands of the sovereign Lord, make no mistake who created the world and loves the world and was rejected by the world is still in charge of the world. Here's the good news for the believer, the Savior who called you and redeemed you is capable of taking care of you. He will never wash his hands of you. He will never walk out on you. So let's talk about our deeds. They are a reminder of God's authority is secondly now let's talk about your death.

It's a reminder of God's appointment notice verse two in the same or it is the same for all, since the same event marked the same event happens to the righteous and the wicked to the good and the evil clean and the unclean that is ceremonially religiously claim to him who sacrifices and him who does not sacrifice those who come to that temple regularly and those who you know never show up as the good one is so is the center and he who swears is as he shuns end of this is an evil and all that is done under the sun that the same event goes again happens to all.

All die in just in case we don't think we deserve the dyads in verse three the hearts of the children of man that is a human race are full of evil and madness is in their hearts while they live and after that they go to the dead. We are in need of a Savior, the Bible says there is none righteous, no not on Romans 310 for all of send and what fall short of the glory of God that seven Romans 323 just in case you're not convinced you're a sinner in the company of the ones Solomon is referring to. Keep in mind that the penalty for sin is an appointment with death. The Bible also says it is appointed unto man once to die, you don't think you're a sinner, are you gonna die you're gonna die because your center Bible says the wages of sin is death. Romans 620. The paycheck for being a sinner. The payout the wages you are going open that envelope is one word stamped on it for us all, and it reads DEA TH Solomon right here in his journal. I believe this to heart. I meditated on this. I've examined this. I'm bidding the truth of this, there is this one is then that's deserved by all. No one can avoid it. The good person experiences an evil person. The religious person, and the atheist guy never curses in the and in the Manichaean stop swearing, morality does not protect you from mortality, but people want to talk about people I want to talk about death out there because they like to believe it's never really going to happen. Death is on thinkable beloved death is not on thinkable. It is inevitable. Is it interesting that Solomon as he nears the end of his life keeps coming back to this is the first time he's talked about it. Some of his parting advice to his son is going to ignore it and do loss will we as the truth about life and death know what Solomon does here next as he adds two elements that reveal why the unbeliever generally want to talk about first. They know deep down they know they are truly confident about life beyond the grave notice when he says here in verse four he joined with all the living has hello and word of hope can be translated confidence in numbers as long as you're alive. You're only thing about living. You know, let your mind wander into the subject. If I get the sense of confidence. It is this bravado out there that everyone knows Solomon goes on to say in the last part of this verse that a living dog is better than a dead lion was ending will dog in ancient days wasn't the household pet like we have today. It was a mangy scavenger unwanted. In fact, for those of you that are older in the faith. You probably picked up on the fact that throughout the Bible.

Dogs are used symbolically of evildoers, sinful people back all the way. The last reference which happens to be the last chapter of the Bible, Revelation 22. John writes that the dogs, the evil unrepentant dogs will not be allowed into heaven. You People are loving this right now. This is hard for me to teach but it's the truth. Their metaphor for wicked people.

The lien was all the way back in Genesis linked to the Royal line of the house of Judah. In Genesis chapter 49. The line becomes the emblem of the Messiah is the lie of the tribe of Judah. So what Solomon is saying here is that it's better to be overweight center whose alive, then I'm noble lien is that is, no matter how brave you might want to be. You'd rather be anything but did the unbeliever. If you have conversations and I hope you do because you're to be the gospel light out there. You'll find that they will admit their troubled they are confident about life. All the while, though, deny, they'll suppress the truth. God implanted in their hearts that there is a creator. They want to deny him, and they want to deny any thought of death know not only do unbelievers realizing I confident about life beyond the grave as a second thing he mentions here. They realize they will be remembered after they've gone to the grave. Notice what he writes in verse five for the living know that they will die knowing our hearts are going to God, but the dead know nothing. They have no more reward memory of them is forgotten.

Generally speaking, this is this is absolutely true.

Out of sight and out of mind family certainly will remember you, but the community at large world at large. Solomon is the richest most famous wisest man on the planet and he says don't count on you might expect Solomon follow all this depressing reality by telling you to find a quiet place to find it, find a room somewhere be as quiet as you can enjoy as much again.but he doesn't. What he really tells us to do is to get ready to live with talk about your deeds there under God's authority. Let's talk about your death.

It's according to God's appointment I'll thirdly let's talk about your direction. It's a reminder of God's approval. The next verse gives you a series by the way of imperative verbs. But! Over and over again in this last section begins with the word go. You could translate it, you get translated get going. You get translated let's go you think after all that is only let's just quit. He gets to the thesis.

Now let's go. Let's get on with it and here's his first imperative in the list will put it this way in principle form go on and enjoy the simple things in life for seven go eat your bread with joy.

Drink your wine with a merry heart for God is already approved what you do for the believer.

This is wonderful news, you're not leaving me saying it you're not living under condemnation. No condemnation. Now I dread your freedom live and free to enjoy the simplest gifts of life.

I love the fact that Solomon doesn't say here what you need to really enjoy life as a palace and a lot of gold and really fast horses out there. The pastor and a lot of building projects and parks and all of that noise is what you need to do to get on with living. This is a good notice even the meal isn't really all that fancy bread that's in the right go for it. Enjoy. Talk about your wardrobe next birthday. But your garments be always white but not all will be lacking on your head is a metaphor for rejoicing white garments are the garments of the wedding and the festival and the reunion they represented joy go on and enjoy the simple things of life. Second, legal wanted. Enjoy your relationships in life. Verse nine. Enjoy life with the wife whom you love all the days of your fleeting quick life that he's given you under the sun because that is your portion in life and in your toil at which you toil under the sun. Enjoy that relationship. Enjoy your wife on about you but this covert thing is given me a lot more time at home, especially in the early months I was able to spend more time with my wife and she ever wanted to I mean dream though traveling to meetings as soon wanted a 30 off at 930. All that time and capture.

We had a blast. She taught me how to play Nazi and Rummy cube yellow computer is to cheat I'm done kidding settle down here, sort of, but you won't let me keep score Solomon as a writer. I want you to notice is live with your wife put up with your wife know he he says something much more profound. Enjoy life with your wife. Using her you're enjoying a life with her and isn't it interesting that you notice that the man who had 700 wives comes to the end of his life and changes everything.

With the stroke of his inspired pin from the plural to the singular. He had forfeited throughout life. A loving relationship with a wife for multiple wives and concubines and now as an old man, so it is almost as if Solomon is as much as it meeting that he finally knows better advice could be broadened. Of course an application to include children and parents and grandparents extended family. This is how to enjoy life. Let let's go for it. Make the most of your relationships.

Ignoring by the way, the reality of the Grim Reaper here you're not trying to avoid the reality of the Grim Reaper. Your your effectively dancing before the Grim Reaper, in spite of the Grim Reaper even though you know the Grim Reaper's coming. It's the appointment of God. You understand that no longer under condemnation. You can learn the dance before during the festival mood you are seizing a life as God unfolds it with an attitude. The New Testament, by the way, correspondingly, encourages us to rejoice in the Lord always and again say with me and again I say rejoice by means put on the festival guard every day, denying the difficulties of life. You're just choosing to make the most of life. Solomon is going enjoy simple things in life go on and enjoy the relationships you have in life one more go on and enjoy every facet of life. In case you think Solomon is leaving something out. He writes in verse 10.

Whatever circle that word in your Bible, whatever your hand finds to do do with your mind.

There is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom and shield. It is the grave to which you are going now he's not in this text, trying to deny the afterlife. You simply emphasizing that we need to maximize the potential of life and I love that first word that inclusive word. Whatever whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.

God made all that is creative and and and and lovely and imaginative and inglorious and he came to the end of Genesis 1 gives the summation of the triune God in verse 31 behold law. It is very good yes send Mars is much to be enjoyed. Whatever it is, of God's world. Whatever your hand finds to do so long to violate a commander character of God, enjoy whatever your hand finds to do, enjoy what ever one of my commentators in my study said you know what that means. It means go ride a bike, go visit the Grand Canyon learn a musical instrument. Visit the sick, cook a meal for the hungry read a book, laugh with friends, run a marathon. Call your parents play with your kids write a letter travel to somewhere you never been before, get on but it was interesting deal Moody writing more than 100 years ago caught the sense of Solomon's command correctly when he wrote this, I believe the religion of Christ engages the whole person.

Why shouldn't a Christian play tennis. Don't imagine he writes that you have to go live in a cave to be consecrated. Whatever you take. Take it up with all your heart, know what you're doing in life with that simple meal. The joy of your spouse and home and family. The excellence with which you take up whatever the task is you are actually tasting you are preparing for you are you are sampling and an appetizer, you're getting a glimpse of life beyond the curse life beyond the grave, where you will feast at the marriage supper of the Lamb and you will enjoy the fruit of the orchards that grow along Main Street in the father's house bearing fruit every 30 days.

This is where you will have relationships with the entire family of the redeemed.

Enjoy to the fullest, where we will served with everything we are and everything we have our Redeemer were. We will live in the sense with uninhibited dancing and unimaginable triumph and on speakable glory and grace that we cannot yet imagine that we get a sample, we get a taste down here, so go learn the dance before the grim reaper save for enjoy, taste, serve, love, and then God's appointed time, you will win your way to that city were the dancing in the feasting and the loving and serving in the thinking and worshiping along on and on with on interrupted children to enjoy lunch. I recommend not just bread but a lot of butter.

Thanks for joining us here on wisdom for the heart. This is the Bible teaching ministry of Stephen Davey and you can learn more about us.

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