Solomon makes a very cynical comparison to someone who lives a full life, but spends it being unsatisfied to being better off being born dead, or stillborn.
Ecc 6:3 If a man fathers a hundred children and lives many years, however many they be, but his soul is not satisfied with good things and he does not even have a proper burial, then I say, “Better the miscarriage than he,
Ecc 6:4 for it comes in futility and goes into obscurity; and its name is covered in obscurity.
Ecc 6:5 “It never sees the sun and it never knows anything; it is better off than he.
Ecc 6:6 “Even if the other man lives a thousand years twice and does not enjoy good things—do not all go to one place?”
Yikes, so again let’s look at what Solomon is saying there….he is telling us a person who was never born is better off than someone who spends two thousand years being unsatisfied with good things?
We should ponder this as it relates to our own lives. Are we unsatisfied with where we are right now? The society we live in certainly conditions us to think that way, isn’t that why we are forever working to buy more stuff, to improve our surroundings? Do we foolishly do this thinking that it will somehow make us happy? Like “if I buy that one thing, I’ll be happier this year than I was last year?”
If I can share my own testimony on this, as you know my Mom recently passed away, and I have had fleeting thoughts go through my head, where I think, ‘I have had some tough times these days, maybe I need to make a big purchase to help me get through this grief.’ But even if I buy a new car, it’s not going to make me miss my Mom any less.
Having said that, the best way to approach fulfillment is in the scope of eternity, and I don’t think that Solomon here is really looking at it from that lens. He is saying, a two-thousand year old person and a person who was a miscarriage, are headed to the same grave…so if God is not part of your worldview, that is definitely going to bring about a sense of cynicism that we see in the text here today.
On the other hand, the Biblical reality of Christ’s death, purchasing us a ticket to eternal paradise should do the exact opposite. As Christians, we are just sojourners, or people passing through this life to the next destination, and who wouldn’t want to be a part of that? Yet there is a life after this one. But the only path to that eternity is through Christ. Thankfully, Jesus came, died, and rose on the 3rd day for us, so we can live a life after the one we are in now. That fact alone makes us much happier than Solomon who is equating someone who lives 2000 years to someone who lives for 2 seconds.
However, we aren’t gonna live 2000 years, the one thing we don’t know is when we will die. Death comes like a thief in the night, no one knows when it’s gonna happen, all we know is it definitely going to happen. So if you or someone you know is thinking about this, remind them to Confess, repent and believe in Christ’s defeat over death and the fact that He came to bear the brunt of our sins.