Zobmondo, a board game manufacturer out of Los Angeles California, has created a “get to know you” style game that’s got families laughing and learning about each other. According to the company website, the game is designed to ask “players to choose between two uncomfortable choices.” It is simply called, “Would You Rather…?”
By asking strange questions that force players to make a choice between two unlikely scenarios, each person reveals their bizarre and unsuspected preferences to one another. By playing this game you can really learn a lot about each other (in fact, maybe a little too much ?).
For instance, (feel free to play along, just not during the sermon), “Would you rather hit every red light for the rest of your life OR have your TV turn on and off sporadically for the rest of your life?” How about this one, “Would you rather be able to fly OR be able to read people’s minds?” There are also some gross-out questions, “Would you rather have 500 tarantulas crawling around your house OR 1000 crickets jumping around your room?” Sure, it’s silly. It’s preposterous. But it can be a lot of family fun to ask each other, “Would You Rather…?”.
While Zobmondo may be making big bucks off of asking these kinds of questions, they aren’t the first ones to do so. In fact, God asks these kinds of questions of us in the Bible. He particularly does so in…
…those two hard to understand books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes.
These cryptic books are filled with life or death, glad or sad, up or down type scenarios that make you think and consider, “Would you rather…?”.
Specifically, in Ecclesiastes 7, Solomon peels back the veneer of daily life and pokes around inside of us with some of his observations. Like a surgeon who sees and feels your organs and bones, parts of you that you yourself have never even seen or touched, Solomon’s statements reveal the hidden parts of who you are.
Listen to God’s questions. Think about how you might initially respond. Then think about God’s preferences for how you should.
1. Would you rather have a pleasant smell or a pleasant reputation?
“A good name is better than a good ointment…” (7:1a)
2. Would you rather be born or die?
“The day of one’s death is better than the day of one’s birth.” (7:1b)
3. Would you rather go to a funeral or a party?
“It is better to go to a house of mourning (funeral) than to go to a house of feasting (party) because death is the end of every man, and the living takes it to heart.” (7:2)
4. Would you rather spend time crying or laughing?
“Sorrow is better than laughter, for when a face is sad a heart may be happy.” (7:3)
5. Would you rather be reprimanded or entertained?
“It is better to listen to the rebuke of a wise man, Than for one to listen to the song of fools.” (7:5)
6. Would you rather be slow and uncertain at decision-making or quick and decisive?
“The end of a matter is better than its beginning, Patience of spirit is better than haughtiness of spirit.” (7:8)
7. Would you rather follow God in days of prosperity or days of adversity?
“When times are good, be joyful, when times are bad, consider this: God made the one as well as the other, so people won’t seek anything outside of His best.” (7:14, ISV)
When reading Ecclesiastes, something must be clear. Solomon is exploring what life is like apart from God. Here is man that is writing, as if in a diary, his secret feeling and truest thoughts about life. As the Holy Spirit directed his quill pen to scribble these words, Solomon shared observations that seem counter-intuitive to everyday life.
Solomon is trying to make you think deeply about: 1) who you are, 2) who God is, 3) what you value in life, and 4) why you do what you do. It’s a deep book that can explore the deep parts of your soul. Read it this week and consider.
In the end, Solomon is really asking a very basic question of you and me. Solomon is asking us this: “Would you rather live foolishly or wisely? Would you rather pursue heavenly things or earthly ones? Would you rather please God or please yourself?”
Only you can answer those questions.