Ecclesiastes 9:1-3 (NLT)
1 This, too, I carefully explored: Even though the actions of godly and wise people are in God’s hands, no one knows whether God will show them favor. 2 The same destiny ultimately awaits everyone, whether righteous or wicked, good or bad, ceremonially clean or unclean, religious or irreligious. Good people receive the same treatment as sinners, and people who make promises to God are treated like people who don’t. 3 It seems so tragic that everyone under the sun suffers the same fate. That is why people are not more careful to be good. Instead, they choose their own mad course, for they have no hope. There is nothing ahead but death anyway. 4 There is hope only for the living. As they say, “It’s better to be a live dog than a dead lion!”
Solomon reflects on death and how it comes to all people. There are no favorites. There are none protected. Death is a fate for everyone. Solomon ponders why it is that way. He reasons people go their careless way because they will face death eventually. His thoughts are it is better to be alive as a dog than to be a mighty lion and dead; for only the living have hope.
The apostle tells us in Romans, “When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned.” The consequence of choosing sin was to face death. No one was spared from that consequence. It is why God gave His Son Jesus to the world to pay the debt of sin. God in His loving mercy wanted us to have eternal life, a rich, full, and meaningful life; a life that would be different from Solomon’s description of meaningless and hopeless existence. 1 Corinthians 15 tells us, “For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies. Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled: “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.”