Tomorrow we will begin a new book…..if you have been with us through the entire reading, this will be our 18th Book we are reading together. If this is your first visit to the blog.. CONGRATULATIONS!!! ANY DAY is a good day to begin reading the Bible. WELCOME in the name of Jesus Christ to all here!!
The theme of the book of Ecclesiastes is something that every human asks: “What is the meaning of Life? What is the point of living? Is there more to life?” These are hard questions if you deal with them strictly from a human point of view and the answers in our own humanness can be quite negative and depressing (as we will see as we read the book.) Interestingly the word “meaningless” appears 37 times in only 12 chapters!! However, as Christians, we KNOW that WITH Jesus Christ in our lives, leading our lives, and living for HIM, the answers to these questions are positive and life altering!!
Ecclesiastes in Hebrew means Koheleth “to bring together” but in Greek translation it is Qoheleth meaning Teacher, Preacher, Speaker, or Philosopher. The conventional belief is that Solomon wrote the book about 1000 years before Christ. Scholars believe that Ecclesiastes was written towards the end of his reign in approximately 935 BC. The theme of this book is going to be very human to us: What is the meaning of Life? What is the point of living? Is this all there is to Life?
Ecclesiastes is one of the 5 books of “WISDOM” in the Bible. The five books are Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Song of Songs/Solomon, and Ecclesiastes. Doesn’t it blow your mind that Solomon, the man who asked God for wisdom, is credited with writing most or all of three of them, and he wrote a couple of Psalms as well?? WHAT a testament of how God answers prayers for HIS glory.
Philosophers from centuries past to present day debate the meaning of life, and people spend billions of dollars each year trying to figure out the meaning of their life. When people call the Bible mysterious and confusing…often it is because they have not read it…I know that is how I was. I would attend church and depend on the Pastor to feed me for that week. I might attend a couple of other times during the week to get renewed but I always thought the Bible was WAY over my head (not saying that I understand all there is to understand because I DO NOT.) However, since I REALLY began to dig into the Word last year as if it were hot homemade bread fresh from the oven (and it really is our bread <<<smile>>>) God has opened my eyes to HIM, HIS character, HIS love, HIS ways. And when HE allows each of us to understand through our faithfulness to reading and doing HIS Word….OH BOY… do the flood gates ever open. We begin to see and understand so much more when we CHOOSE to read and allow the Holy Spirit to highlight the Words from the page deep into our hearts. And suddenly…things we never thought we could comprehend through the Bible are made so plain to our hearts.
This book refers to Our time on this earth as “Life under the Sun”. We will be reminded that our time on this earth is short as compared to God’s time of eternity. “Under the Sun” is used 28 times and refers to the mortal, temporary nature of ALL things in this life. The author will boil it all down for us when he will show us that apart from God…. life is meaningless!! The author writes this book from experience. And he had the means to try EVERYTHING!! He tried to find joy, satisfaction, meaning…NOT in fellowship with the Lord. He tried science, philosophy, drinking, possessions, women, wealth, music, materialism, fatalism, and Religion (legalism.) He TRIED IT ALL.
The book does not condemn any of those concepts as a part of life but to recognize that those WITHOUT God will leave us feeling meaningless. Human effort will never complete us. It does not matter how wise you may be, or how much money you have….those things will not give your life meaning and alone they CERTAINLY will not get us into heaven! There is ONLY one way to have meaning in this life and ONLY one way to live the abundant life here on earth and spend ALL eternity with our wonderful Abba Father…..and THAT way IS JESUS CHRIST.
As we read this Book of Wisdom, inspired from God, just know that to all the “vanities” (if you are reading the KJV) or “meaningless” (in the NIV) things all this REALLY is a foreshadow of Christ. According to Ecc 3:17, God judges the righteous and the wicked, and the righteous are ONLY those who are in Christ (2 Cor 5:21). God has placed the desire for eternity in our hearts (Ecc 3:11). I mean look at all the superhero movies we have seen in our lifetime….many of them are immortal….and we LOVE to watch them. Well, Jesus IS our SUPERHERO and HE is ETERNAL. God PROVIDED the WAY to meet our hearts’ desire of immortality through Christ (John 3:16.) Striving for the world’s wealth is not only vanity/meaningless because it does not satisfy (Ecc 5:10) but EVEN IF we could attain it, without Christ we would lose our souls and what profit is there in that (Mark 8:36)? The bottom line….. every disappointment, heartache, loss, hurt, etc…..has it’s remedy in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
And I can’t help but think about a song performed by a group called “The Byrds”, in 1965 called “Turn Turn Turn”… “To everything turn turn turn, there is a season turn turn turn, and a time to every purpose under heaven… a time to be born, a time to die….” It was actually written by Pete Seeger in 1959 and adapted from the book of Ecclesiastes (3:1)!!! Pretty interesting–right??
The verses that are touted as key verses from this book are Ecclesiastes 12:13-14:
“13 …Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty. 14 God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad.”
And… as believers and faithful followers in Jesus Christ we will be seen by our Loving Father God through the blood of Jesus that covers us and makes us white as snow…not because we are perfect, or sinless, but because we desire with all our hearts to know HIM and obey HIM.
So let’s get ready for more words of great Wisdom from our Heavenly Father!
Sharing HIS love,