Ecclesiastes 9 is God's way of telling us that we should not let power-hungry men take away the good life that God has given us.
Though this is such a simple Truth, it was enough that Paul confirmed it time and again throughout the New Testament. In Colossians 2:18, Paul warns us not to let any man rob us of our good life by insisting on asceticism. These men, according to Paul were bringing forth the worship of angels, going on in detail about their visions, puffed up without reason by their own sensuous minds.
Paul typically spoke in general terms when dealing with this subject. As the Gospel of Jesus Christ spread into the Gentiles, There were many ways of life in the non-Jewish culture that had no specific rule in the Mosaic law. Ecclesiastes, however, gets very specific in detail.
Eccleasiastes 9 says to eat your bread with joy. We should be thankful with the food that God has provided us!
It says to drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already approved what we do. Let no man tell you that you cannot drink your wine, and do not drink it in sorrow! If any man tells you not to drink your wine, simply reply, "God has already approved what I do!"
Let your garments always be white, and do not let oil be lacking on your head. As with most verses in the scriptures, this has a physical and a spiritual context. Physically, we should not go around unkempt, un-groomed, or filthy. We are representatives of The King, and we should present ourselves as such. Spiritually, our garments have been made white as snow by the cross at Calvary. We are anointed with the oil which is the Spirit.
Enjoy your lives with the woman you love. As man and wife, you should enjoy your time on this earth all the days of our lives under the sun. God has given us our portion in life, and that is to enjoy the good things He has given. Whatever our hands can find to do, do it the best we can! There is no work, thought, knowledge, or wisdom in the grave that we will one day fill, so we should therefore do the best we can to enjoy these things in life!
At the end, Ecclesiastes gives the same warning about asceticism that Paul gives, though in a different way. It says that "Wisdom is better than the weapons of war, but one sinner destroys much good."
All it takes is one man to take away our victory. All it takes is one man to spread a doctrine of legalism, modern asceticism. Many will follow after, snared in their traps.
One man can take away the good life God has given us.
As Christians, we should ask ourselves: Have we followed a message of asceticism? How many forbid themselves of wine because they wrongly think it makes their bodies un-holy? How many deny televisions, movies, or other entertainment -- the good, healthy ones -- because some man tells them it leads them away from righteousness? How many bottle themselves up in asceticism, thinking all enjoyment in life is from 'Satan's Eden?' Does our testimony of asceticism cause men and women to turn away from Christ? Does it cause the seeking to refuse Christianity because of self denial? Does our testimony align with the scriptures?