So last night we launched transit and we talked about Ecclesiastes, a great, great book, if you’re committed to work through and wrestle through what it brings up. I know that in our talk last night it hit some folks pretty hard, and that’s ok the Bible should force us to really consider life, and chapter 1 does exactly that.
Kathy found this great introduction to the book in her study bible so she posted it on myspace and I figured I might as well post it here to.
So I was reading my bible this morning in the book of Ecclesiastes and the intro was really good in explaining about this book. So for all of you people in transit I thought I would be good to read this. It’s a good explanation on what Solomon was feeling/thinking when he was writing this book!!
The Chocolate bunny lies in the basket surrounded by green paper “Grass”.
With Easter morning eyes wide with anticipation the little boy carefully lifts the candy figure and bites into one of the long ears. But the sweet taste fades quickly, and the child looks again at the candy in his hand.
Empty, futile, hollow, nothing – the words have a ring of disappointment and disillusionment. Yet this is the life experience of many grasping the sweet things – possessions, experience, power, and pleasure – they find nothing inside. Life is empty, meaningless – and they sink into despair.
Almost 3,000 years ago, Solomon spoke of this human dilemma; but the insights and applications of his message are relevant to our time.
Ecclesiastes, Solomon’s written sermon, is an analysis of life’s experiences and a critical essay about life’s true meaning. In this profound book, Solomon takes us on a reflective journey through his life, experiencing how everything he had tried, tested, or tasted had been “meaningless” – useless, irrational, pointless, foolish, and empty – an exercise in futility. And remember, these words are from one who “had it all” – tremendous intellect, power, and wealth. After this biographical tour, Solomon made his triumphant conclusion: “Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty. God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad.” (12:13,14)
When Solomon became king, he asked God for wisdom, and he became the wisest man in the world. Solomon studied, taught, judged, and wrote. Kings and leader from other nations came to Jerusalem to learn from him. But with all of his practical insight on life, Solomon failed to heed his own advice, and he began to downward spiral. Near the end of his life, Solomon looked back with an attitude of humility and repentance. He took stock on his life, hoping to spare his readers the bitterness of learning through personal experience that everything apart from God is empty, hollow, and meaningless.
Although the tone of Ecclesiastes is negative and pessimistic, we must not conclude that the only chapter worth reading and applying is the last one, where he draws his conclusions. In reality, the entire book is filled with practical wisdom (how to accomplish things in the world and stay out of
trouble) and spiritual wisdom (how to find and know eternal values).
Solomon had a very honest approach. All of his remarks relating to the futility of life are there for a purpose: to lead us to seek fulfillment and happiness in God alone. He was not trying to destroy all hope, but to direct our hopes to the only one who can truly fulfill them and give our life meaning. Solomon affirms the value of knowledge, relationships, work, and pleasure, but only in their proper places. Everything temporal must be seen in light of the eternal.
Read Ecclesiastes and learn about life. Hear the stern warnings and dire predictions, and commit yourself to remember your Creator now.