How to Live (A Study in Ecclesiastes) Lesson #8 The End

How to Live (A Study in Ecclesiastes)

 Lesson #8 The End (Ecclesiastes 7:1-8)

In the passage for our lesson Solomon makes multiple comparisons concerning things that are better than something else. In this lesson we will look at some of these comparisons in order to learn two things. First off, hard times can make us better and how we finish is what really matters.

Solomon’s Comparisons: 

1)  Good Name is better than precious ointment.

2)  Day of death is better than the day of birth.

3)  Better to go to the house of mourning than the house of feasting.

4)  Sorrow is better than laughter.

5)  Better to hear the rebuke of the wise than the song of fools.

6)  End of a thing is better than the beginning of a thing.

7)  The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.

Hardship is a great teacher:

 Ecclesiastes 7:3 Sorrow is better than laughter: for by sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.”

From the humanistic standpoint these comparisons may not make much sense, but when we put thought to them, they are really quite instructive. No one likes sorrow but it is in times of sorrow or hardship that we really learn something about ourselves. If we are saved it can also be a time when we really learn something about God as well. Remember that anyone can go through good times but not just anyone can endure hardship and come out on the other side better than when they went in.

Finishing with a good name:

 In the list that Solomon gave in our passage a good name is first on the list. This speaks to us of our testimony. Salvation is the most important thing in life, but once you are saved you are kept saved by the power of God (1 Peter 1:5) and you cannot lose your Salvation. But what a saved person can lose is their testimony. Many saved born again Christians when faced with hardships will forsake God and living for him and will wind up dying out of the will of God or at least wasting many valuable years that could have been spent serving him. One of the key things to remember is that people do remember as much about how we won the race but what they remember is how we finished, examples Paul vs. Demas.

Now let us look at how we must endure hard times to finish with a good testimony.

1)  Realize the value of a good testimony. (Proverbs 22:1)

  • In the list of comparisons we see that a good name is better than precious ointment. Precious ointment is was very expensive in those days. This shows us that a good testimony cannot be bought and is more valuable than money.

2)  Realize it doesn’t stand until death (Hebrews 9:16-17)

  • In this passage we see that up till the point of death a person can change their testimony. This is another reason that Solomon said the day of death is better than ones birth.
  • Above we note the example of Paul and Demas. In the word of God we find Demas mentioned 3 times. In Philemon vs. 24 we see that Demas is a fellow laborer, in Colossians 4:14 it is just Demas, then in 2 Timothy 4:10 it is Demas the man who forsook Paul.
  • Now it is obvious that Demas at one point was doing well and then forsook Paul because he loved the present world. Even though he served God he is always remembered as having forsaken Paul. It is how we finish that gets remembered.
  • In life there will be many hardships and tough times but we must labor through them and remain faithful to God all the way up till the end.

3)  Realize we must endure the correction of the wise (Proverbs 27:5-6)

  • In the list of comparisons Solomon said it was better to hear the correction of the wise than to hear the song of fools. This is very valuable in finishing with a good testimony. Correction is a big part of life and also a big part of having a good testimony. As a matter of fact it is one of the reasons that the word of God was given (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
  • A person who will not endure correction will eventually ruin their testimony and remember the ones who truly love us will love us enough to tell us when we are wrong.

4)  Realize that it will take patients. (Romans 3:3-5 and Hebrews 12:1-2)

  • A good name and a good testimony take years to build they will not happen overnight. This is where patients will play a big part.
  • In Romans we see that tribulation worketh patient and patient experience, and experience hope. This is why we must endure the hard times of life. Just like many of the examples found in the word of God it is hard to see what God is doing during the storm but after it passes sometimes we can see the purpose and effects on our lives.

Life Lesson:

In a five hundred mile nascar race no one cares if you were in first place the entire race and then lost the race in the last lap. They only remember how you finish. When it comes to life how will you finish for the Lord?



How to Live (A Study in Ecclesiastes)

The End (Ecclesiastes 7:1-8)



1)  What are some of the comparisons that Solomon made in this passage?












2)  How do these comparisons show us that hard times can make us better?







3)  What are some steps to finishing with a good testimony?


















4)  What is our life lesson from this passage?