The House of Mourning

Mike Johnson

Ecclesiastes 7:2 says, “It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.

Why is it better to go to the house of mourning than to the house of feasting, i.e. why is it better to go to a funeral home than to a party? One would think the opposite would be true.  A person might say, “There is more enjoyment in attending a festive event than a place where the dead are being mourned.”  But, the passage is not speaking of “enjoyment” but is talking about what is better.

The reason why it is better to go to the “house of mourning” is that more can be gained from this type of house than from the house of feasting. At the house of mourning, we are reminded that death will come to all of us. We will “lay this to our heart” as the passage says.

The Bible teaching on the brevity and the uncertainty of life should be brought to mind in the house of mourning. Job 14:1-2 says, “Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.  He cometh forth like a flower and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow and continueth not.” An understanding of this concept should motivate us to use the time we have left in God’s service.  Psalm 90:12 says, “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.”

We are put here on this earth for a reason.  We were not put here by God to do whatever we want to do.  We were not put here pursue immorality, material things, and to serve our selves.  The question, “What am I doing here?” is one of the questions that has always plagued mankind.  The answer to this question is found very simply in Ecclesiastes 12:13 where the writer said, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”

Have you learned lessons which come from the house of mourning? All of us have a responsibility (in this short life) to serve God.  Are we doing that now?  Life quickly passes away; it can end at any time; Christ can return at any time.  Are you prepared?