The Ultimate Equalizer

Do you spend much time thinking about death, specifically your death? The old saying is there are two things you can count on: death & taxes…

Everyone must face death, no matter your socioeconomic status Death is the ‘Ultimate Equalizer’. What is God’s purpose in making us all face death? How can the reality of death shape this life? How does death help us come to trust in God’s sovereignty?

And how can a healthy understanding of our time being limited help us live the way God desires; with gratitude and consideration? And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. ~ Micah 6:8

Chapter 9

1 This, too, I carefully explored: Even though the actions of godly and wise people are in God’s hands, no one knows whether God will show them favor. 2 The same destiny ultimately awaits everyone, whether righteous or wicked, good or bad, ceremonially clean or unclean, religious or irreligious.

  • Writer seeks to be credible (I am an expert) God’s Spirit speaking thru him
  • BELIEF in the fact that who receives God’s favor is decided solely by Him
  • Admission that God is in charge of EVERYONE’S ultimate destiny
  • You cannot be good enough, clean enough or religious enough to avoid death

Good people receive the same treatment as sinners, and people who make promises to God are treated like people who don’t. 3 It seems so wrong that everyone under the sun suffers the same fate.

  • What we see VS what God sees
  • It seems like injustice to us…what makes us think we know what real justice is?

Already twisted by evil, people choose their own mad course, for they have no hope. There is nothing ahead but death anyway. 4 There is hope only for the living. As they say, “It’s better to be a live dog than a dead lion!”

  • God’s image is compromised by sin, and sin leads to death
  • It creates a hopeless situation we are without power to change

5 The living at least know they will die, but the dead know nothing. They have no further reward, nor are they remembered. 6 Whatever they did in their lifetime—loving, hating, envying—is all long gone. They no longer play a part in anything here on earth.

  • When you are under the power of sin that is all you know
  • This life become the only thing (no perspective beyond this life)
  • And this life is finite

7 So go ahead. Eat your food with joy, and drink your wine with a happy heart, for God approves of this! 8 Wear fine clothes, with a splash of cologne! 9 Live happily with the woman you love through all the meaningless days of life that God has given you under the sun. The wife God gives you is your reward for all your earthly toil.

  • If there is nothing but this life, go ahead: PARTY UP!
  • The search for fulfillment in ‘Stuff’ & ‘People’ and ‘Status’
  • What God gives us ‘under the sun’ is meaningless when it is just about this life

10 Whatever you do, do well. For when you go to the grave, there will be no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom.

  • Living under the sun is about thinking it’s only about this life, this world
  • Is this all there is? What’s The Point?

We have to come to grips with our finite, hopeless reality before we can fully surrender to God’s solution for us to be rescued from it: The Gospel of Jesus Christ!

11 I have observed something else under the sun. The fastest runner doesn’t always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn’t always win the battle. The wise sometimes go hungry, and the skillful are not necessarily wealthy. And those who are educated don’t always lead successful lives.

  • We judge and assign value based on human / worldly perspective (bad data)
  • Our ideas of ‘Justice’ start with bad data then are influenced by sin
  • We are always looking at an incomplete story

It is all decided by chance, by being in the right place at the right time. 12 People can never predict when hard times might come. Like fish in a net or birds in a trap, people are caught by sudden tragedy.

  • Reality: We have NO CONTROL… How do we deal with that?
  • Our lives happen to us, without the ability to really control them
  • This reality, without a Biblical Relationship with God, can really wreck you

13 Here is another bit of wisdom that has impressed me as I have watched the way our world works. 14 There was a small town with only a few people, and a great king came with his army and besieged it. 15 A poor, wise man knew how to save the town, and so it was rescued. But afterward no one thought to thank him.

  • This is an example of ‘How the world works’…
  • People have always lacked gratitude (Jesus & ten lepers: Luke 17:11-19)
  • When something good happens it’s God we should thank, He made it happen
  • Our level of ‘Thanks-Living’ corresponds to our level of surrender to God

16 So even though wisdom is better than strength, those who are wise will be despised if they are poor. What they say will not be appreciated for long. 17 Better to hear the quiet words of a wise person than the shouts of a foolish king. 18 Better to have wisdom than weapons of war, but one sinner can destroy much that is good.

  • The injustice of how people treat others based on Socioeconomic Status
  • The World judges on a scale we do not have to use

My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism.Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in.If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,”have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? ~ James 2:1-4

  • Human nature is to discriminate, tolerance of oppression results
  • But there is an ultimate equalizer: Death
  • The wisdom to surrender to God is the only answer to the ultimate Equalizer

Application Questions:

How are you with this ‘Everyone’s actions are in God’s Hands’ declaration?

How at peace are you with the idea that this life will end soon?

Looking at your time, emotions and resources, what is the ratio of those things used for ‘Self-Fulfillment’ VS ‘Kingdom-Fulfillment’? (Time. 45 total hrs: 20hrs / 25hrs)

Who are the targets of your discriminating? What is at the root of it?