I looked long and hard at what goes on around here, and let me tell you, things are bad. And people feel it.
There are people, for instance, on whom God showers everything - money, property, reputation - all they ever wanted or dreamed of. And then God doesn't let them enjoy it. Some stranger comes along and has all the fun. It's more of what I'm calling smoke. A bad business.
Say a couple have scores of children and live a long, long life but never enjoy themselves - even though they end up with a big funeral! I'd say that a stillborn baby gets the better deal.
It gets its start in a mist and ends up in the dark - unnamed.
It sees nothing and knows nothing, but is better off by far than anyone living.
Even if someone lived a thousand years - make it two thousand! - but didn't enjoy anything, what's the point? Doesn't everyone end up in the same place?
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)