Text: Ecclesiastes 8:1-17
Title: Government and the Grave
In chapter 8, Solomon instructs us to be obedient to authorities. It would seem obvious to obey the law and the law makers and enforcers but there are some who do no do this and think they are the authority. Here, Solomon tells the truth. We need to obey the authorities in our lives. The New Testament is very adamant about obedience to governing authorities.
Romans 13:1-4 tells us, "Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God's minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God's minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil."
Hebrews 13:17 encourages us, "Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you."
Titus 3:1 instructs us, "Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work."
1 Peter 2:13-17 explains to us, "Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and [for the] praise of those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men--as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God. Honor all [people]. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king."
So we see a clear pattern in these scriptures. We need to be submit to authorities as unto the Lord. As we submit to the authorities, we are submitting to the Lord. We have city, county and federal authorities we need to obey. Let's take it one step further. We have other who are older who we need to respect. Our parents! They are authorities in our lives and we need to obey and respect them in the same regard as authorities. It will bless your life instead of mess up your life with complicated problems. Obey your parents unto the Lord. For this is right in the sight of the Lord.
Solomon tells us three things about the government and authorities in general:
1. God created government and authorities.
2. God controls government and authorities.
3. God chooses who is in government and authorities.
"By me kings reign, And rulers decree justice. By me princes rule, and nobles, All the judges of the earth." Proverbs 8:15-16
Secondly, Solomon finishes chapter 8 by concluding we will one day die. It is the beginning of a long thought Solomon has throughout chapter 9 about the certainty of death. One day we will meet the grave. "It is appointed unto man to die once, and after this comes the judgment." Hebrews 9:27.
The Grave Is Coming.
Solomon tells us two important truths about the certainty of death. He tells these truths as a old man who is closer to death than he has ever been before.
1. No one can control death.
2. No one knows when death will happen.
So be ready! We need not the fear death but be ready for death. We need to obey authorities in our lives and we need to live with an eternal perspective, knowing we are going to die one day but be alive forever in heaven with Jesus our King!