3 If a man beget an hundred children, and live many years, so that the days of his years be many, and his soul be not filled with good, and also that he have no burial; I say, that an untimely birth is better than he.
4 For he cometh in with vanity, and departeth in darkness, and his name shall be covered with darkness.
5 Moreover he hath not seen the sun, nor known any thing: this hath more rest than the other.
6 Yea, though he live a thousand years twice told, yet hath he seen no good: do not all go to one place?
I think this is one of the saddest passages in Ecclesiastes. It seems obvious to me that Solomon is thinking of himself here. I don’t think he had 100 children, but he did have many. After all, 300 wives, 700 concubines. I don’t know, maybe he DID have that many children!
Solomon’s soul was filled with good in his early years as king, but he grew farther and farther away from God as he brought more and more ungodly, Idolatrous women into his harem. He adopted their ways of worshiping idols. It would seem that his soul was no longer filled with good.
In fact, Solomon says that a miscarriage resulting in a dead baby is better than a man who is born in vanity, dies in darkness, and is soon forgotten.
Even if a man man were to live for two thousand years, he ends in the same place as that untimely birth. Both end in the grave, and Solomon believes that the baby who never saw the sun, never knew anything, is better off than the wealthy man who had no goodness in his soul.
How often do we learn that some wealthy, famous person has been found dead, having taken his own life because he was so desperately unhappy? One of the more recent was Robin Williams. He was a man who could make us all laugh, yet in his innermost spirit he was miserable.
Bill Cosby isn’t dead yet, and I hear he’s making plans for some new endeavors when he’s released from prison. Another man who could make us all laugh, but a man who was living two lives in conflict with each other. His fame and wealth were brought down by his lust for power.
We need to be satisfied with what God has given us. We need to beg God for a generous spirit, a heart for Him, and a life that honors the Creator Who made us.