Good Grief! I started out this morning looking ahead and saying “hmmm another long read…and I am short on time today” and then I didnn’t want it to end. When I got to Chapter 9 I hung on everyword till the end.
I know God intended us to be in this book for a lot longer than 2 days. The very thoughts we all have layed out here, 1000 years before Christ, and yet it is just as relevant today as it could ever be. God wrote the Bible to be relevant to every generation of every day.
However, we must stay on track but I have given much thought to what I am going to do after we get done on December 31. I am going to dig deeper. You know a book like this is not a 2 day study. So much life lesson and Truth weaved into these scriptures.
Here is my take away for the day:
Death for a believer, although sad for us under the sun, will be the best day for them. We cannot even fathom Heaven. But while we are here we will witness so many questionable things. Good people being punished and wicked people looking blessed (really caught my eye). We don’t know when we will die, but God does. We need to stop looking at others and look inward only to ourselves. 7:20 says There is not a righteous man on earth who does what is right and never sins. (Take a deep breath for a minute…think of your breath) If God wants to, that could be your last one, so let’s stop living according to the world and start living according to the Lord, because what this book tells us is, all this really is small and meaningless compared to the big picture.
The conclusion you may have noticed was written in the Third Person. I could not help but to hear God himself reciting it. As if to say, now that you heard all that…let me tell you what the Real Deal is “Respect Me. Fear Me. Live according to what you are being taught BIBLE readers, because one day soon each of you will stand in front of me for your day of Judgement”.
Click here I liked it in NIV, however if it is your first read ever you can look at the Message (or both) click here for that The Message. This is a longer read than usual so maybe bite off 1 or 2 chapters. Rest. then come back a few hours later do 2 more. Then tonight the last 2.
Why read this book? For some it may be because we have these questions in our head. For others it may be because we know friends that have these questions in our head. And for the rest of us, a little of both. Have you ever said: “If I only… then life would be worth living” you can fill in the blank with whatever you need.
- had financial security
- was thinner
- my husband was on board with my thoughts
- had someone else’s life
- had someone else’s kids
- had more time
- was prettier
- was younger
- had a job I enjoyed
But we will see that Human Desires for happiness are… “chasing after the wind” (vs14) You will never catch it! It always changes. Reading these 6 chapters was like a roller coaster. I felt like Solomon so often on the ‘Meaningless’ rants and I also felt his love for the Lord on the “we cannot take or add to anything from the Lord”. As a society we do try everything to figure it out. The end of this book will answer it all. In the meantime, there were a few things that really caught my eye (and my heart).
For with much wisdom comes much sorrow;
the more knowledge, the more grief. (1:18)
For me this popped off the page because now that I have an understanding of some things happening according to the Word, a lot of what I see does bring me a sorrow I did not have before.
Chapter 2 I think is something I think we all need to read. If we are going to be pulled by Wisdom and Folly…isn’t Folly a lot more fun?? We “under the sun” think…we only get one shot at this life…I am gonna enjoy it. Well, if we are living like that I am sure that we have a deep feeling of “meaningless”. We may think we are having fun but truly what is on the inside? I have a feeling we all thought of someone in our lives we can pray for on this.
Chapter 4 Has one of my all time FAVORITE versus!! Think of the one person in your life (Christian) that no matter what happens that person will completely support you, pray for you, and lift you up. If you don’t have this bond with a person, pray and pursue one.
Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down,
his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls
and has no one to help him up!
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Chapter 5 I love any chapter that completely reminds us of the Reverence one should have for the Lord and how to properly approach Him. And then we hit the topic of Riches: (buckle up)
Whoever loves money never has money enough;
whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income.
This too is meaningless. As goods increase,
so do those who consume them.
And what benefit are they to the owner
except to feast his eyes on them?
The sleep of a laborer is sweet,
whether he eats little or much,
but the abundance of a rich man
permits him no sleep.
Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work—this is a gift of God. He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart.
Ecclesiastes in Hebrew means Koheleth “to bring together” but in Greek translation it is Qoheleth meaning Teacher, Preacher, Speaker, or Philosopher. This book may have been written by Solomon about 1000 years before Christ. 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 may seem quite pessimistic, the word Meaningless comes up 37 times in only 12 Chapters. There are 5 ‘Wisdom’ books in the Bible and we are about the read the last of them. Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Song of Songs, and now Ecclesiastes.
If you have been to college you may have taken Philosophy as a course. Philosophers divided over the Meaning of Life. Oh how they go round and round like it is an unsolvable question. This book refers to Our time on this earth as “Life under the Sun”.
Here is what the author is writing about: Apart from God what is life about? The author writes this book from experience. He tries to find joy, satisfaction, meaning…not in fellowship with the Lord. He tried science (watch the Ben Stein movie called Expelled), philosophy, drinking, possessions, wealth, music, materialism, fatalism, and Religion (legalism) .
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.
I am extremely excited to read this Book of Wisdom inspired to be written from the Lord. I just know that when I am done with these 12 Chapters I will be changed.