Better is a stillborn child than a man who lives long and has a hundred children. What?! How can that be? According to the Preacher, the prosperous and well-aged man “is not satisfied with goodness, or indeed he has no burial.”
Sounds like a depressed Solomon again. In many words he is simply saying, “There is no point in living life if you don’t get to enjoy the good things life has to offer.”
Well, from a biblical perspective, Solomon’s thinking is both faulty and true.
First of all, there is purpose and significance in every soul. Nobody is meaningless or a waste in God’s design. Life is not truly fulfilled in enjoying pleasure and the joys of the world. But if that is all that one is seeking, his life will indeed be meaningless whether or not he experiences that pleasure, happiness, and goodness.
Secondly, the only life that is ultimately satisfied is the one that experiences true goodness- the goodness of God. Those who aren’t satisfied with that goodness, yes, they are like the miscarried baby that “comes in vanity and departs in darkness, and its name is covered with darkness” (6:4).
Solomon says that a stillborn child “has more rest than that man, even if he lives a thousand years twice- but has not seen goodness” (6:5-6). But a man who lives a thousand years twice and sees goodness is still no better than that child if the goodness he sees is not from the Lord.
Meaning in life doesn’t come from the world. It comes only from a relationship with Jesus Christ. From what am I drawing my joy, and in who or what do I find satisfaction and see goodness?
A hundred years and wealth in life is but a vanity
If spent upon the pleasures of this earth.
Fewer years and joy from God is worth much more to me,
Than living life with only worldly mirth.