Bible Lessons, Inspiration

The Opposite Ends of Life


Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

An argument can be made that everything in life has an opposite end.  Natural law requires that all things that go up must come down, and what goes around must come to a complete stop.  By principle, law permits things that go in to come out, and things established wrong to be settled right.

Based upon the argument, it can be assumed that all human activities in this life have an opposite end, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven…” (Eccl 3:1-8).  From verse one through verse eight; Solomon realized that the human activities of life have an opposite end, which resulted in a very profound question that is worthy of our consideration even today, “What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?” (Eccl 3:9).


Work in and of itself is not a bad thing.  Before God created the earth, he fully intended that a portion of our time would be spent at labor, “And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground” and “And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it” (Gen 2:5; 2:15).

Like all other examples, work and labor has an opposite end.  First, our work and labor is established according to God’s timetable, “I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it. 10 He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end” (Eccl 3:10-11).  Second, our work and labor provides our joy and pleasure, “And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God” (Eccl 3:13).  Ultimately, the work and labor of every person will be judged on the basis of righteousness and wickedness, “And moreover I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was there; and the place of righteousness, that iniquity was there. 17 I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work” (Eccl 3:16-17).  Our work and labor in this world is not to amass financial success and material blessings exclusively.  Rather, our work and labor is a gift from God designed to prepare us at the end of life, “Wherefore I perceive that there is nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his own works; for that is his portion: for who shall bring him to see what shall be after him?” (Eccl 3:22).

Please join us at the Beltway church of Christ on Sunday’s and at mid-week Bible study where the opposite ends of our lives are being shaped by the Father’s instructions and guidance!


Markus Martin

Markus Martin is the Senior Minister at Beltway Church of Christ

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