A Study of Ecclesiastes 9:7
“Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works.”
These words are not addressed to everyone. They are specifically addressed to the righteous and the wise. They are addressed to those whose works are in God’s hand, to those who, being the objects of God’s mercy, love and grace, have been made righteous and wise in Christ (Ecclesiastes 9:1; Matthew 10:16). Are you one of these? If you trust Christ Jesus, you are. You are accepted in the Beloved. God accepts you in His darling Son. He has accepted you from eternity (Ephesians 1:3-6), He accepts you now and He will accept you forever. And, here Solomon tells us, “God now accepteth thy works!” What a blessed, sweet subject that is for contemplation! — “God now accepteth thy works!”
“Go Thy Way”
Here we are urged to set our hearts on our God and His grace and march through this world with triumphant joy. The word translated “go thy way” has many shades of meaning. It might be translated “pursue your way,” or “march in your way,” or “vanish in your way.” The admonition carries with it a sense of joy and victory. That is how God’s people ought to live in this world. We ought to walk through the earth: joyful, triumphant and confident in faith.
Christ is our Way; and if Christ is our Way, we have no reason to live with fear. — Christ is our way of acquaintance with the Father. — Christ is our way of access to the Father. — Christ is our way of acceptance with the Father. — Christ is our way of atonement with the Father. — Christ is the old way, the narrow way and the only way to God. — God’s people are people of the Way. Though our way is the way of the cross, “the way of the cross leads home.” So let us walk with joy (Proverbs 15:19; Psalm 1:6).
Our way is the way appointed by our blessed God and Savior. He is with us in the way, holds us in the way, and carries us all the way. Our way is the Highway of Holiness, by which the ransomed of the LORD return to Zion, “with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads” (Isaiah 35:8-10).
“Eat Thy Bread”
Next, the wise man urges us, by the Spirit of inspiration, to eat our bread with joy. — “Eat thy bread with joy.” That admonition refers to the bread of daily providence. — “I commended mirth, because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry: for that shall abide with him of his labor the days of his life, which God giveth him under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 8:15). Believing men and women ought to be the happiest, most cheerful people in the world. Everything we possess is blessed to us by Christ; and our God has promised that we shall be blessed in basket and in store, blessed in lying down and blessed in rising up, blessed in going out and blessed in coming home, blessed in time and blessed to all eternity (Deuteronomy 28:1-12).
But we have other bread to eat; and we are ever to eat that bread with joy. Christ is our Bread. He is Manna for our souls. He is the source of all our blessedness. It is by eating his flesh and drinking his blood that this blessedness is ours. Christ is suitable Bread and satisfying Bread; and Christ is sweet Bread for hungry souls. Let us go our way and eat our bread with joy, for Christ is our Way and he is our Bread.
“Drink Thy Wine”
“And drink thy wine with a merry heart.” — How kind, how gracious, how good our God must be, if he commands his children to be merry! Like bread, wine is here set before us as a part of our daily diet. Bread represents that which is necessary. Wine represents that which is pleasurable. Both are to be used freely and enjoyed by us. And as bread represents the body of Christ, wine represents his sin-atoning, redeeming blood. — Let us ever drink this wine with a merry heart!
Solomon is urging us to enjoy the bounty of God’s providence and his saving grace in this world. Christ is our Way; so let us go our Way. Christ is our Bread; so let us eat our Bread with joy. Christ’s love is better than wine; so let us drink our wine with a merry heart.
“Accepteth Thy Works”
“For God now accepteth thy works!” — As we make our pilgrimage through this world of woe, we ought to eat our bread with joy and drink our wine with a merry heart, because God accepts our works. God accepted us in His dear Son before the worlds were made; and here the Spirit of God assures us that the LORD our God accepts our works. Imagine that. — “God now accepteth thy works!”
Mark that word “now.” — “God now acceptheth thy works.” This is much more than an assurance that God will accept our works in eternity, or that God accepts some of our works. Rather, it is an assurance from God Himself that He presently and perpetually accepts our works, just as He accepts us in His dear Son (Philippians 4:18; Hebrews 13:15-16). — In Christ, by virtue of our union with Him, we are unto our God, in the totality of our lives, both our persons and our gifts, with our worship and works, “a sweet savour of Christ,” — “for God now accepteth thy works!”