For the living know that they will die;
But the dead know nothing,
And they have no more reward,
For the memory of them is forgotten.
“For the living know that they will die;”
This section starts with an event that happens to everyone – good, bad, rich, poor, churchgoers, and non-church goers.
The event is death. You might avoid it a time or two but you cannot escape it.
Death cares little for who you are, what you do, or your net worth.
“But the dead know nothing”
Many use this verse to say the dead are in some suspended state of consciousness, like sleep.
I believe it speaks of the dead knowing nothing of the living and what they are doing.
In Luke 16, the rich man was certainly conscious but had no idea of the state of his brothers, only the memory of how he left them on the day he died.
“And they have no more reward”
The dead gain nothing. They don’t make money. They can’t collect or spend their own life insurance. There is no more reward in the life they left behind.
There is a reward for their eternal time ahead of them – He will reward each according to his works. Matt 16:27
The reward for some is eternal life; for others, it is eternal death.
“For the memory of them is forgotten”
When my two aunts and uncle died after each lived only 11 days, I’m sure my grandparents, mom, aunt, and uncle visited the graves of their children/siblings and mourned the loss. The pain of losing those children would always stay with my grandparents, even more than the siblings. Who visit their graves today? Who remembers their short lives? My mom? My aunt and uncle?
Who will remember once they are gone?
I know of the three but have no knowledge of them. In the years to come, someone will pass by their graves and wonder why each lived only 11 days. The memory of them is forgotten.
Live for God, Who has the power to resurrect your body into eternal life.