(Lesson #10 in the series on Ecclesiastes)
You might introduce this message by discussing how our lives are different from the lives of famous wealthy people like Steve Forbes, Donald Trump or George Steinbrenner.
No matter how wealthy a person may be, or how different from us, we still have many similarities.
Ecclesiastes 9 shows us things we have in common with others, no matter what our station in life.
COMMON DENOMINATOR - Vs. 1
The last part of this verse tells us that nobody knows what is going to happen next in his or her life. People can go from being in terrible straits to places of importance and comfort. Consider Joseph.
People can also go from places of prominence to places of embarrassment and humility.
We don't know what is coming next, so trust in Christ is of the utmost importance.
COMMON DESTINY (DEATH) - Vss. 2-6
Unless the Lord Jesus returns, all of us face the destiny of death.
Of course, there are two possible destinies after death, which are Heaven or hell. John 3:16-18
As you consider these verses, please bear in mind that Solomon is speaking about life "under the sun". He is not looking beyond this life.
COMMON DELIGHT - Vss. 7-9
Solomon is encouraging everyone to enjoy this life. However, the only one who can truly enjoy this life in the right way is the Christian. He is the one who is in right relationship with God.
COMMON DUTY - Vs. 10
The time for work is now! The grave will be too late. Ephesians 2:10, Colossians 3:17,23
COMMON DISTRACTION - Vss. 11-12
Every one of us deals with time and chance. We don't know what is going to happen next.
Fish don't plan to get caught in a net but some do.
Birds don't plan to be snared but some do.
Men don't plan to fall on hard times but some do.
Of course, what we call chance is not a surprise to God.
COMMON DISTINCTION - Vss. 13-18
Although all men have many things in common, it is wisdom that makes the difference.
The person with wisdom is far better off than the person without wisdom.