A reminder and exhortation to the righteous are both found in this passage. First of all, one is useful on this earth only when he is alive. Secondly, God approves of righteous living, so keep on living in such a manner.
Let’s start with the common sense, “A living dog is better than a dead lion. For the living know that they will die; but the dead know nothing.” A running Model T is better than a junked Lamborghini; a functional typewriter is better than a smashed iPad; a living peasant is better than a dead president.
Basically, I’m presently better off in this world than anyone lying in a grave right now. Why? Because I can still do things for God’s glory on this earth. But I must remember that my day is coming too when I will depart from this world. I will worship God in eternity, but I can do nothing else here in this life after I die.
“For the memory of them is forgotten…Nevermore will they have a share in anything done under the sun.”
What’s the challenge? Live every moment of my life for God with the end in view. Do what I can for God in this life now because someday I will not have that opportunity anymore.
What’s the exhortation then for the righteous? “Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry hear; for God has already accepted your works. Let your garments always be white, and let your head lack no oil.”
God approves of the righteous, so if I live righteously, I can live knowing that God is pleased with my works. May I always do those things that are right, those things that would characterize me as wearing white garments. May the blessing of God always be upon me and my deeds so that my head lacks no oil.
Make good on the time you have now.
May the life I live now
Be a mirror of what’s right.
May my actions show how
I’ve been brought to the light.
May my life not be wasted,
May my works be approved;
For God’s grace I have tasted,
And His goodness He’s proved.