Be Prepared – Ecclesiastes 7:1-4
February 27, 2023, 9:25 AM

1. A good name is better than fine perfume, and the day of death better than the day of birth. 2. It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart. 3. Sorrow is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart. 4. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure.

Wisdom is the most important theme of King Solomon’s writing. A lot of secular advice we receive is hot air. Solomon writes: There are good things. There are better things, but most things are just absolutely meaningless when it comes to the important things in this world.

The story is told of one lady during the time of the sinking of the Titanic left her spot on the life boat while many were going to drown. She asked to be given 3 minutes as she ran through the gambling room with all the money that had rolled on the floor ankle deep. She came to her stateroom and pushed aside her diamond rings, expensive bracelets, and necklaces and grabbed three small oranges.

Instantaneously priceless things had become worthless and, in that moment, she preferred three small oranges to a crate of diamonds.

Solomon had seen the misplaced philosophies and the worthless energies people waste on things that have no value.

Solomon says, “A good name is better than fine perfume.” That makes sense. Honesty, righteousness, and positive reputation reveal our inner character. Prepare your inward beauty, more than your outward beauty.

When it comes to birth, Solomon is saying what might be better said in New Testament terms, "Better never to have been born at all, than never to have been born again." If one is not prepared to die, then one's birth is not worth celebrating. If all we seek in this world is worldly gain and pleasure and then die, shouldn't that cause us to focus on spiritual preparation for death?

We live in a culture that frankly ignores death. Church is one of the few institutions that keep calling people to look at mortality. Hospitals are geared for recovery. Doctors, on the whole, seek to improve your health.

Solomon says wisdom is not pursuing primarily the fun times, the laughter and entertainment, but be ready to meet God. Booze, money, drugs, pleasures, and partying might keep us from facing the reality of death for a while, but sooner or later we must all die. Are you prepared? If you are not and die outside of Jesus Christ, then it would be better if you had not been born. Such a person is a fool.

Application: Do you know for sure you are going to heaven and not hell? The Bible teaches you can be prepared. You can trust in Christ alone, confess and turn from sin, and ask God's forgiveness.

Prayer: Lord, I want to prepare for eternity by trusting in Christ alone and to grow in my faith by being in Your Word.