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Grace Baptist Church | Cape Coral

Coram Deo

Pastor Tom Ascol continues his series on the book of Ecclesiastes with a message, “Coram Deo,” developed around Ecclesiastes 6:10 – 7:14. To this point the book and its author, the Preacher, have examined life as it is apart from God. Yet we all live before the face of God (Coram Deo). God sees all. The preacher now teaches that to live well in this world one must consciously and deliberately live before the face of God. If the Bible is real, then there is meaning and purpose in life. Thus, Ecclesiastes teaches joy and wisdom are to be found in God.  

The Preacher wants us, his readers, to know three things. First, God’s sovereignty rules our lives. God has absolute authority over the world. Verse 10 tells us everything has already been named and implies God is the Namer. To name is to exercise lordship in ancient Hebrew. God, who has sovereignly created the world now sovereignly rules over the world. As verse 10 continues we see the vanity of struggling against the sovereign God. In fact, mankind’s first struggle against God in Genesis Chapter 3, where Adam and eve disobeyed, was the start of a continuing, futile struggle against God. Arguing with or against God, verse 11 advises, is only ongoing vanity. God’s sovereignty should be the ultimate comfort to believers. This is so since His sovereignty means nothing comes our way without His control. Furthermore, we know from other biblical portions that God works for our good (Romans 8:28) whatever does come upon us. For those who have yet to come to God here is an invitation to stop struggling against the God of the universe and come through the salvation work of Jesus Christ on the Cross of Calvary, a work planned before time began.

The Preacher’s second point is that God’s wisdom preserves our lives. Taking life seriously is better than treating it frivolously. Chapter 7:1 – 12 seems almost morose yet it actually teaches a better way. The author uses the word for good or better nine times in this passage emphasizing thoughtful consideration of the end of our lives, rather than the frivolity of foolish, thoughtless living. We are here taught a life well-lived will not ignore the reality of the brokenness of this world or of the destiny of death awaiting us all. While the proverbs in this passage are all helpful the overall teaching is that wisdom is advantageous.

The final point is that submitting to God brings contentment to life. God is sovereign; what He has made, what is His design, will not be changed by even the best of man’s schemes. Days of prosperity and adversity are all under His control and are used by Him for His purposes. God sits enthroned in the heavens; how much better to willingly submit to Him than to continue rebelling. In submission can be found joy and contentment. While the final verse teaches us we cannot know what the future holds God’s sovereignty teaches us we can know Who holds the future.

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