Ecclesiastes 8:7-8 says “For he does not know what is to be, for who can tell him how it will be? No man has power to retain the spirit, or power over the day of death.” These two verses must deal with the when, what and the how of death. No one knows when he will die! There is an interesting web site called the “death clock.” You enter in your date of birth, body mass index (BMI) and it will predict the day of your death. I am going to die on October 27, 03 eternal life2019. It’s on a Sunday. It then counts down the seconds that you have left to live. When I typed in the data for my 11 year old grandson, TJ, it said he would die in 2067. If he had an optimistic attitude, however he would live another 25 years! But even an 11 year old is smart enough to know that nobody really knows when they are going to die. That’s what Solomon says. There are too many variables in life to accurate foresee the time of our death.

Not only do we not know when we are going to die, we don’t know how we are going to die. In the movie, “The Big Fish” kids believe that if they looked into the glass eye of a neighborhood witch, they would see how they were going to die. One boy looked into the eye and saw himself falling off a ladder. TJ said it couldn’t be true because that guy would always stay away from ladders. Even an 11 year old can see that the when and the how of our death is indeed a mystery. These are things that only God knows. God does not share this knowledge with us. The one and only thing that God makes clear about our death is the “what” of it. It’s in verse 8; “no one has power over the day of death.” It is coming. We don’t know when or how but it’s inevitable.

Chapter 8, up to this point, has been addressing our responsibility to submit to human authority. But this passage brings both kings and their subjects onto level ground. Money, popularity, power and possessions will have no impact on this truth. Regardless of the authority one may possess we all go to the same place. We all are under a sovereign authority. Death is a command that no one can disobey. Abel was the first man to die. God gave Adam and Eve Seth. His name means replacement referring to the loss of Abel. Seth named his son Enoch which means “weak or frail” pointing to the mortality of man. God wants our mortality to drive us back to Him. Genesis 4:26 informs that at the time of Enoch, in keeping with his name, “men began to call upon the name of the LORD.” Those in the ungodly line of Cain turned to their own schemes in dealing with the inevitability of death. We can go the way of Cain or the way of Enoch, who walked with God and was taken instead of dying. The way of Enoch leads us to the cross of Calvary where we too escape death and find eternal life.