“A good reputation is more valuable than costly perfume. And the day you die is better than the day you are born. Better to spend your time at funerals than at parties. After all, everyone dies—so the living should take this to heart. Sorrow is better than laughter, for sadness has a refining influence on us. A wise person thinks a lot about death, while a fool thinks only about having a good time” (Ecclesiastes 7:2-4, NLT).
The Teacher had a good understanding about human nature when he penned these words in the book of Ecclesiastes.
We don’t like to think about death. We like to think about life. What we are going to do today. What we plan to do tomorrow. And death doesn’t fit into our plans anywhere.
After my wife passed away I thought about death a lot, not only my wife’s death, but death in general. I still think about it.
When death passes closely by, you begin to pay more attention to it. You start thinking more about death. And, it’s wise to think about death says the Teacher, because such consideration holds much spiritual value.
The grief we suffer from the loss of a friend or loved one refines our character; it develops us spiritually. And, it prepares us for eternity.
It’s a death wish of sorts. Contemplating death helps us focus on living for God!
The only way human beings enter into eternal life is through the death of the physical body, unless you happen to be living when Jesus returns. In other words, you have to die to live eternally. And death is the means by which you enter into eternal life.
So the Teacher is saying that death matters! Your life in this world is inextricably linked to eternity through your death. And what happens when you die is a matter of what happened when you lived!
“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” (Psalm 116:15, ESV)