18 I said in my heart, “Concerning the condition of the sons of men, God tests them, that they may see that they themselves are like animals.” 19 For what happens to the sons of men also happens to animals; one thing befalls them: as one dies, so dies the other. Surely, they all have one breath; man has no advantage over animals, for all is vanity. 20 All go to one place: all are from the dust, and all return to dust. 21 Who knows the spirit of the sons of men, which goes upward, and the spirit of the animal, which goes down to the earth? 22 So I perceived that nothing is better than that a man should rejoice in his own works, for that is his heritage. For who can bring him to see what will happen after him?
(Ecclesiastes 3:18-22, New King James Version)
Dust to Dust
This is a rather interesting conclusion Solomon makes at the end of Ecclesiastes 3. What does he mean when he compares man to the animals saying that man has no advantage? Like the animals man will return to the earth (dust to dust).
It is important that we keep these verses in context with the rest of this chapter from Ecclesiastes. Solomon has been pondering life's worth in considering the things that will happen to his estate after his death. I believe that is his intent when he asks, For who can bring him to see what will happen after him?
It is true that man's body will return to this earth, but that is where the similarity to animals ends. When an animal dies, his spirit, so to speak, returns to the earth along with his body. Man's spirit, however, but goes upward.
Looking upon his own life and possessions, Solomon admits that, from an earthly standpoint, we should take pleasure in the work we do; as he states, "That is our heritage." It is not appropriate that we should concern ourselves with the things that will happen after we leave our life on this earth. No one can see what will happen after he is gone.
As a Christian it is important that we find peace in knowing that, after our death, this world is still in the all knowing hands of God.
What a glorious thought! Though our bodies will go from dust to dust, our Spirits will dwell with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, for all eternity.
Amen, so let it be!
God Bless You,