Death, life, and evil times (chapter 9)
The despair of death (v. 1-6)
The righteous, and the wise, and their works, are in the hand of God. Qohelet observes that all people die, no matter who they are or what they have done. "To all appearances, God is just not interested. The things that are supposed to matter most to Him turn out to make no difference—or none that anyone can see—to the way we are disposed of in the end. Moral or immoral, religious or profane, we are all mown down alike."
The hope of life (v. 7-10)
He then says that we may all die, but we should still enjoy life while we have it. He also says that we should work hard. "Man was not created to be idle, he was not elected to be idle, he was not redeemed to be idle, he was not quickened to be idle, and he is not sanctified by God's grace to be idle."
The mystery of time and chance (v. 11-18)
Taken in an evil time (v. 11-12)
No amount of wisdom or skill appears to prevent the evil time. Bad things happen as a result of humanity’s choices; as a result of sin and forsaking God. But none of them happen “accidentally” or apart from God’s will.
Wisdom is better, but it is often wasted (v. 13-18)
Qohelet tells the story of a wise man that saved his city, but was soon forgotten. He says that wisdom is better than many things, but it is not always beneficial because it is not heard.
-  Kidner
-  Spurgeon