Not Dying, But Living

Luke Morrison • March 6, 2023


“It’s not dying I’m talking about, It’s Livin.” Says Gus McCrae.

This is what Solomon is saying in this section of Scripture too.

Too often we get so caught up in fear of death, fear of failing, fear of losing that we fail to live life as God intended.

We worry, we stress, we struggle, we halfway do things so we can get more money, we fail to love as we should, we become stained by the world of sin, we start to believe that money, fame, intellect will help us avoid our time, and we miss out on living faithful pure lives before the Lord.

Even though Gus was on to something, I do not believe we can ever fully live until we face the fact of death.

We will all die, as certain as we are in this room together today.

Facing that fact will help us all learn to live as we should because we see that nothing is more important than how we live for the Lord.

When we live this way we can look in the face of death and tell it that it is not in victory because we have a savior who is above death because He has conquered death.

Because of this we can live life to the full and enjoy all God has blessed us with here because we know that this is not the best to come because when we are with Him we will then have received the best and greatest.

Live a life of love and compassion but live it to the full. Work hard and serve to the full. Rest in God because He has you and will keep you.

1 But all this I laid to 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. 2 It is the same for all, since the same event happens to the righteous and the wicked, to the good and the evil, to the clean and the unclean, to him who sacrifices and him who does not sacrifice. As the good one is, so is the sinner, and he who swears is as he who shuns an oath. 3 This is an evil in all that is done under the sun, that the same event happens to all. Also, the hearts of the children of man are full of evil, and madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead. 4 But he who is joined with all the living has hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion. 5 For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten. 6 Their love and their hate and their envy have already perished, and forever they have no more share in all that is done under the sun. 7 Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already approved what you do. 8 Let your garments be always white. Let not oil be lacking on your head. 9 Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your vain life that he has given you under the sun, because that is your portion in life and in your toil at which you toil under the sun. 10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going. 11 Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all. 12 For man does not know his time. Like fish that are taken in an evil net, and like birds that are caught in a snare, so the children of man are snared at an evil time, when it suddenly falls upon them. 13 I have also seen this example of wisdom under the sun, and it seemed great to me. 14 There was a little city with few men in it, and a great king came against it and besieged it, building great siegeworks against it. 15 But there was found in it a poor, wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city. Yet no one remembered that poor man. 16 But I say that wisdom is better than might, though the poor man’s wisdom is despised and his words are not heard. 17 The words of the wise heard in quiet are better than the shouting of a ruler among fools. 18 Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner destroys much good.

Ecclesiastes 9:1–18 (ESV)

Man, this text seems quite depressing, doesn’t it?

It speaks to us in whatever situation we are in because we see that regardless what we do, we will die.

But there is hope if you are still alive. Do not ever lose hope in this life because if you are breathing there is still hope.

We do not know what the Lord may do for us or through us. So, never lose hope but keep moving forward however that may look.

So, let us examine some observations from this section.


There are 8 observations from within this section of Scripture that I discovered while studying it.

The first is that

All of Life is in the Hand of God.

The Righteous, the wise, and their deeds.

Whether we love or hate, whether evil or good all are in the hand of God.

Simply, we cannot escape Him. He sees all and knows all. If we think we can avoid Him or outsmart Him, we are mistaken.

He is like your mother when you were a child, He has eyes in the back of His head. Actually, He has eyes all around and never misses anything.

Know then, that nothing that happens to you is missed by Him.

Someone is rude, evil, mean, a bully, or just mistreats you; God sees this and knows.

Also, if you feel overlooked and forgotten or that the work you do is not appreciated; God sees and He knows all you feel and He is the one who will reward.

We can enjoy life better knowing that the Lord is in control and that nothing is missed by Him. No misdeed will go unpunished, all will receive their reward for what they have done, and this is a fact you can trust because…

No One Escapes Death.

The same event happens to all…

Part of the peace and rest we have in the Lord, as well as some of the angst we feel in life is wrapped up in this observation.

We all die and no one and nothing escapes this end result.

So those who are gloating and flaunting their wealth and power over you and others, will all die just like we all will.

They are handicapped in this life just like all of us are.

This is one reason why we are all the same here because we all will face the same end regardless who or what we are.

You can chase the allusive fountain of youth and die the same as the one who lives life to the full enjoying what God has given them.

You can look into all these treatments that make you look younger but that is all it does. We only have one life and this life does not end at death. It is continued forever somewhere and it is best to seek the ultimate over the wasting away material.

This body is made to be used, cared for like you should a vehicle or any tool, but used nonetheless. We should seek to use it well for the Lord rather than…

Don’t be Caught as Evil When Death Comes.

Full of evil and madness, but if you are living there is still hope.

If death catches you with evil in you rather than Christ in you, it will not be well for you.

Your hope will be gone, your peace will be gone, your wealth will be gone, and you will be gone.

But if you are alive today, which I assume you are since you are here in this room, then you have hope and possibility to live a faithful and righteous life for the Lord.

Jonathan Edwards wrote, Unconverted men walk over the pit of hell on a rotten covering, and there are innumerable places in this covering so weak that they will not bear their weight, and these places are not seen. The wrath of God burns against them. (Illustrations, 266).

That is what it is like to be in evil when death comes. You are going along just fine and then BAM, the bottom falls out and you are in your eternal home.

It is that sudden and it is that tragic because after this life there is not another chance.

Paul says every knee will bow and tongue confess He is Lord, but that does not mean they will be saved.

No, you can call someone Lord because you recognize their authority but that does not mean you are submitted to their authority.

Think of William Wallace. He knew that the English were the Lords but he did not submit to them but he did bow in death to them.

So, just know that if you are not in Christ when death comes, it will not be well in eternity.

Do you live each day to the full. Do you live life in a manner that people believe you when you say that Christ is yours and in Him you have everlasting joy, or are you seen as a hypocrite?

That is the next observation which is to…

Live, Laugh, Love, and Work to the Full.

Joy, merry heart, enjoy life, that is your portion so do everything all your work and living of life to the best of your ability.

This is not saying to go and drink the town dry or anything like that but it is saying to live the life God has given you and to do the work you do to the fullest because this is where you are supposed to be.

Listen to this,

There was a very cautious man

Who never laughed or played.

He never risked, he never tired

He never sang or prayed.

And when one day he passed away

His insurance was denied

For since he never really lived

They claimed he never died. (Swindoll, Ultimate book of Illustrations, 145).

Too many of us live like this. We never do anything but complain and gripe.

We fuss and cuss about everything but never do anything to change it.

We want more than we would ever give.

We want others to do everything so we can do nothing just to cuss and fuss and gripe and complain again.

Why do we want to waste our lives like that knowing full well that it will not change anything?

It is because we are not thankful to the Creator God who has blessed us. We never thank Him, we never enjoy what we have because we want what another has, we never love our families and friends as we should until it is too late because we have to get what others have.

Love your wife like she is the only woman around. Love her with everything you have. This is above any carnal desire and is about genuine true love that goes beyond skin and beauty.

This is a love that is sacrificial and understanding and not about self but about another. Love her like this and watch how she loves you. Stop wasting life on the world and love her and ladies love him the same way and watch how much more enjoyable life will become.

Stop waiting and complaining. Stop waiting until everything bursts open before you love and desire.

Stop doing that because that stains us with sin and makes us a blemish on and in the body.

And as members of the body of Christ…

In All Your Joys and Work, Keep Yourself Unstained from Sin.

As members of the body of Christ, we are to let our garments to always be white and never let the oil lack from being on our head.

This is about living in joy and happiness because you are not allowing sin to interfere.

In the time and culture of this writing when something bad happened they would put on sackcloth and ashes. Clean white garments and oil anointing is opposite that because there is joy.

Live your life in a manner that is full of joy and peace with the Lord and you will not need to repent and sit in sackcloth.

When we live this way it demonstrates that we belong to the Lord. It shows that we are His and no one elses.

Live life fully and completely with joy and happiness but do it in a manner that shows you are the Lord’s and no one elses.

We do this when we avoid desiring what others have. We do this when we stop being jealous. We do this when we enjoy what we have completely and are genuine about that joy.

One reason that Solomon gives is that…

No Ability, Intellect, or Money Will Stop the Suddenness of Life and Death.

It does not matter if you are strong, agile, wise, rich, or intelligent; time and chance happen to us all.

This does not mean that things are out of God’s hands with our lives.

It simply means that we never know when it is our time and no thing in this world will change that or make it miss you.

So, why waste your life pining away for the things you do not have when you have many blessings in front of you?

Why seek things that only cause grief rather than joy and peace?

Live life with those you love and try and share what true love is with as many as possible and see how much better life is.

You may still suffer and have no money but you know that all this stuff is transient and of no real value.

You will see the wealthy die, the wise die, the highly gifted die, and the poor die.

It happens to all and we never know when. So enjoy what you have now before it is all gone.

Live life and know that you have lived it in a manner that will impact others rather than just make you able to have all the little things you want.

Sometimes this means we will be forgotten and overlooked when we have the ability above others. But we…

Remain Faithful and Live out God’s Wisdom.

The poor wise man delivered the city, he did so by wisdom, which means that wisdom is better than might or power.

Yet, with the wisdom that delivered the city, that man was forgotten.

Sometimes in life we will be overlooked and forgotten.

It happens and in all honesty, who cares?

Let them forget you. Let them overlook you, let them speak ill of you. Who cares?

Remain faithful and take the negligence. Take the abuse. Take the hate and disregard.

Remain faithful and know that what you are doing is right and that the only one, THE ONLY ONE that matters knows and sees all you do.

The Lord does not miss any of the things we do. He sees it all and because of that, we should fear Him and seek to honor Him over people.

You see when we allow others to speak into us in an evil manner by us wanting to be remembered and not overlooked, we will miss out on where true power lies. We will miss a faithful life and miss joy and peace. And when we do that we will be miserable and bitter because that is not where joy or true power resides.


Righteous Living is True Power.

Quiet wisdom is better than shouting, Wisdom is more powerful than weapons.

This does not mean that you will be heard or even have anything in life.

What it does mean is that the Lord will hear and know and you must stay faithful and live righteously regardless what happens.

One has said, “At the foundation of our labor, no matter what our work, is godly wisdom that can be gleaned from the Lord, from his word, and from godly people. Therefore, there is no room for fatalism or idleness in the life of the Christian. We serve our King, and we should do so with all our hearts, minds, and souls.” (John D. Currid, Ecclesiastes, 123.)

Simply stated, never give up and never stop living your life, working your work, loving your family, serving others and fall into the wickedness of others.

Remain faithful and sty true to the Lord and know that He is what matters more than anything else and live for Him even if, EVEN IF you are hated and forgotten.

Never give that up and stand firm for Him. Be like others from earlier in Christian history. “George Whitefield and John and Charles Wesley often met with violent opposition as they proclaimed the gospel in the open air. Yet their message was heard above the shouts and taunts, and often turned the hearts of their most violent opponents.”

That is what it means to remain righteous and have the real power with you. But know that Solomon’s final words, “‘But one sinner destroys much good’…deals with the root of the whole problem—man’s sinful heart. It is through the sin of one man that we have been brought into the bondage of death, and through the obedience of another that we have been delivered (Rom. 5:12–21).” (Jim Winter, Opening up Ecclesiastes, 125).

That is the whole issue with life and with us: SIN. We are all sinners and we all need Jesus to change us because we cannot do it alone.

Look to Him in all things. Look to Him when you doubt.

Look to Him when you are jealous.

Look to Him when you are wanting more than you have.

Look to Him when you need help and strength.

When we look to Him we will be able to live a life we will stop living in death and live.

We will no longer be DYING, BUT LIVING.

Go live life and love life because you have the Lord Jesus Christ with you and in you and that is what matters.