Some people believe to one degree or another that if a person does bad or evil eventually they will be punished. They also believe that if we do what is right then goodness will follow us all the days of our lives. However, in life on earth (under the sun) sometimes righteous people may get what the wicked deserve, and wicked people may get what the righteous deserve (14).
Take for example Joseph who did nothing wrong and was sold into slavery merely because his brothers were jealous. He remailed in slavery and even went to jail for perhaps 20 or more years. Meanwhile, Saul remained king for over twenty years while David lived as an outcast in caves and deserts. Though it is true that Joseph became the second in power in Egypt and David became king of Israel. That doesn’t mean much when sitting and sleeping year after year in a dark damp prison and cave.
Solomon considered the uncertainty of those who live righteously or wickedly. He recommended the enjoyment of life because nothing is better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad (15). Enjoying life is a choice that does not depend on how much wealth or power we have. Enjoying life does not mean we engage in sensual pleasures that weary the body and soul. Enjoying life means making the simple things link eating and drinking joyful.
Making the daily decision to enjoy each moment no matter how simple is assurance that joy will accompany us in our work all the days of the life God has given us under the sun (15). Jesus lived in a poor back-water Roman-occupied territory. His short three-year ministry was not without obstacles and challenges. Still, he lived a life of joy that attracted thousands of people who wanted to have what he had.