Work with all your Might

Scripture: Ecclesiastes 9:10, ‘Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.’

 

Observations: While Solomon says ‘everything is meaningless,’ he doesn’t council us to give up, rather he councils that we make the most of our brief, pointless life. We are to eat and drink with gladness (v7), dress well and keep clean (v8), enjoy our spouse (v9), and work with all our might. Solomon says ‘whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.’ He isn’t suggesting that we can do whatever we like, rather that we should do the best we can with the little time we have. Solomon would agree with the saying ‘Seize the day!’ because it might be your last, and once you are dead that’s it. The grave (sheol) is more than just a hole in the ground, rather it is a grey shadowy place of non-being, an undefined afterlife. But whatever it is the time for ‘working or planning or knowledge or wisdom’ is past. The Psalmist asks God to save him from death because, ‘No one remembers you when he is dead. Who praises you from the grave? (Ps 6:5)’ Solomon’s point is that it is in this life that we do our deeds, and we shouldn’t waste that opportunity.

 

Application: In the New Testament this idea is expressed in terms of our relationship with Jesus. Paul says, ‘Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. (Col 3:23-24)’ It doesn’t matter so much what work you do, but are you doing it with all your might? Are you working for the Lord? That means more than just having a good work ethic, it also means we do our work with God’s kingdom in mind, and ask ‘how are my efforts bringing glory to God? How am I helping others see Jesus?’

 

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, You have given me this life and You have given it for a purpose, that I may serve You and bring glory to Your name. Lord, help me to use my time well, doing whatever will bring You honour and will grow Your kingdom. Help me to work not just with all my might, but with the might and power of Your Holy Spirit. Lord, help me to not just do my work well, but help me do my work in a way that grows Your kingdom so that it has eternal significance. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

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