In his struggle with his friends, Job ends in the pit of futility! Good or bad, righteous or wicked, it makes no difference. He sighs and says, “One dies in his full vigor, being wholly at ease and secure, his pails full of milk and the marrow of his bones moist. Another dies in bitterness of soul, never having tasted of prosperity. They lie down alike in the dust, and the worms cover them.”

Shakespeare has one of his characters voice a similar lament. Maybe you’re familiar with it: “Tomorrow, and tomorrow and tomorrow creeps in this petty pace from day to day, To the last syllable of recorded time, and all our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty death Out, Out, brief candle! Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more.  It is a tale told by an idiot, Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing!”

In our disappointment, disillusionment, and suffering in life, it’s truly tempting to fall prey to this perspective on life and living it well. Why shouldn’t we let go, like the wicked, and enjoy the pleasures of life, go for the gusto, throw off restraint? Why should we carry the burden of righteousness when the end is the same for both?

Solomon answers that question for us in Ecclesiastes. At the end of 12 chapters recounting the futility of life, the wisest man in the world says, “The end of the matter after all has been heard is this: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.”


“What are people that you should make so much of us that you should think of us so often?  For you examine us every morning and test us every moment.” (Job 7:17-18)