Ecclesiastes 7:1, “A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth.”
According to my mom and dad, and the birth certificate I have from Habersham County Georgia, I was born on May, 16, 1969. I don’t remember anything about that day. My mom shares with me a few things she remembers from time to time and my daddy told me a little about it before he passed from this life, but other than that, I just take their word for it, I was there.
As I grew up, my parents taught me how to say my name. My parents labored diligently to teach me a proper way to live. In so doing, I was taught that a “good name” is better than the things of this world. The way we live, act and interact with others affects the way people respond when they hear our names. The Apostle Paul teaches us this principle in 1 Timothy 4:16, “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine;…” Paul calls on Timothy to “Take heed” to himself first. My daddy talked to me one day and said, “Everybody loves good food. But nobody likes to eat good food on a nasty plate.” By taking heed to myself, I hope to receive the respect to gain the ear of the hearer. And in doing, a greater opportunity to convince them of the truth taught in God’s Word.
The second portion of this verse teaches us about a greater experience. When children are born, we celebrate. I can remember putting the blue and pink ribbons on the mail box post to let everybody know, Sister Jennifer and I were blessed with a new baby boy and baby girl. I remember quite well, the tears of happiness in our eyes when we walked into our home holding the precious children God blessed us to have. But Solomon tells us of a greater experience. Death is often, by the world, viewed as horrible and terrible. But Solomon says it’s better then “the day of one’s birth.” I don’t think Solomon is teaching us to long for death all the days of our lives, but is saying there is a greater experience for the child of God than the day they were born into this world. The world is not a perfect place. Do you agree? The world is full of tribulation and troubles (John 16:33). The Lord calls on us to live a Godly and obedient life in this world, but to always remember that when we die, we just pass from this world to a better place in heaven above. Opening our eyes in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ will be a greater experience than the day we opened our eyes and looked on the things of this world. For that reason, we should live life to please God and not fear the day of death. How? By remembering we have something greater to look forward to. And by the grace of God and His grace alone, one glorious day we will be gathered together around His throne singing praise to the Savior Who saved us from our sins. Amen!