The Berean Expositor
Volume 12 - Page 50 of 160
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Babel of a world! what though their names be cast out as evil, and blotted out of the
world's conventions! nevertheless, they have started with the first great good thing in this
world of shams and unrealities. Every virtue, every fruit of the spirit, every following
after Christ is a contribution to this good name which is better than precious ointment.
May we take the consolation of the Scriptures fully to ourselves in these degenerate
times, and rejoice in the blessed fact that we are named with the name of Christ.
Death, Mourning and Sorrow, and their relation
to what is good for man in this life (7: 1-6).
pp. 52 - 55
The first "good thing" we have learned, is a good name. The name covers all its
outgoings. By nature all have the name of Adam, and the very first "good thing" is to
exchange that name for the better name of a child of God. Koheleth may not have
personally understood the full evangelical meaning of his own statement, the statement
being increasingly true as one ascends the scale of fuller knowledge and personal faith in
It is, however, necessary that we appreciate the radical change indicated by the
possession of the "good name", otherwise the remaining "good things" will not be
understood. The second good thing which Ecclesiastes records is apt to sound " a hard
saying", and only those who have tasted the sweets of the new name can heartily endorse
his testimony.
"The day of death (is better) than the day of one's birth."--To the unsaved reader
these words will be sufficient to confirm their opinion that Koheleth was a pessimist. To
the enlightened believer the same words will reveal him as a spirit-taught optimist. From
the viewpoint of Ecclesiastes what is this present life? It is summed up in the words
"Vanity and vexation of spirit" to all those who have not reached the "conclusion of the
whole matter" (12: 13, 14). This present life is expressed in the synonymous clause "all
the days of his vain life which he spendeth as a shadow" (6: 12). At the end of that life
there is the "one event", and the "one place".
"As he came forth of his mother's womb, naked shall he return to go as he came, and
shall take nothing of his labour, which he may carry away in his hand" (5: 15).
The flesh profiteth nothing. This life can only be blessed and purposeful when it is
viewed as a place of discipline and training, fitting one for true service and life that is life
indeed in resurrection. The day of our birth ushers us into a sphere dominated by the law
of sin and death. We are at birth "sown in corruption", dishonour, weakness, merely a
natural (soul-ical) body. Resurrection changes all this. We are raised in incorruption,
glory, power and with a spiritual body. The first state is connected with Adam
(I Cor. 15: 45, Eccles. 6: 10, Heb.), the second with Christ.