Knowing and accepting that the life I now live under the sun is just the beginning. Knowing and accepting now that the choices I make now will affect how I live the next stage of life under eternity. Knowing these makes verses like these completely understandable and wise.
Why makes my face sad (3)? Why does my heart get down? Sometimes I do not know the reason. Sometimes it is a dream I had just before I awoke and got out of bed. Always sadness is my response to events I didn’t want nor like to happen. Sadness should always be followed with reflection on the reason for the state I am in and strengthening my will to focus on better things happening right now. Sadness can and should have me focus on Christ. “You will have trouble in this world. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Happy times generally teach me less than hard times (4). Knowing this makes me appreciate the hard times better. A day will come when I will thank God for allowing me time to mourn. In this life, I thank God for the times of pleasure often and the times of mourning practically never. In the next life, I will thank him for the times of mourning that I experience now because they will have lead to a good life in the next. Mourning is a part of the road of salvation.
Today the response to a rebuke is personally attacking the wise rebuker. Yet, a wise man’s rebuke will lead to a closer walk with God (5). David’s response to the prophet’s rebuke was a much better response than Saul’s response to the prophet’s rebuke.
Thorns burning make a lot of sounds but produce no heat (6). Thus thorns are not a fuel to use to cook dinner. The laughter of fools is usually generated by alcohol, sarcasm, and sadistic jokes. Such laughter does not help the soul. Being happy is subject to the environment. Joy is subject to the presence of God’s Spirit. The gift of God is love, joy, and peace. These are good for the soul.