Thoughts on Ecclesiastes
Today I celebrate my sixty third birthday.
I celebrate because God has blessed me with these years and much more than I ever deserved.
As I celebrate this day I am mindful that I have lived more days than I have left, but I am excited about what the remaining days will bring
But there are moments….
When I read that my time here is like a vapor, a passing mist, and my mortality is no longer a thought of someday, but a certain day.
I wonder if what I have spent my life pursuing up until now has any meaning, any lasting value?
Solomon asks a similar question
“What does a man get for all the toil and anxious striving with which he labors under the sun?”
Pain and grief, no rest even in sleep, meaningless, like chasing the wind
Not an encouraging answer. But it seems the wisest man to ever live is proved right
Look at our own lives.
We work long and hard
We strive to provide and succeed, and accumulate but what do we really gain?
We seek knowledge but do we gain understanding?
We grow older, but do we grow wiser?
We talk and talk and talk some more but do we really hear?
We seek pleasure that never seems to satisfy
And we are reminded of Solomon’s words
“I have observed everything going on under the sun, and really, it is all meaningless—like chasing the wind. Ecclesiastes 1:14 (NLT)
As a child with a vivid imagination and a love for reading about adventures and places yet to be experienced, I decided early on that my life would not be confined to the small area of my parents world .
I would go and see and do as much and as far as my desire and dreams would take me.
And I did exactly that. .
As I follow Solomon story in Ecclesiastes 1 and 2, I see parallels to my life.
The desire to learn and find wisdom.
To travel, to seek pleasure, to build and create, to accumulate.
And I did all those things.
And at the end of the striving to go and do and see and be the things I desired most were always just beyond my reach.
I understand when Solomon writes;
Pleasure, wine, great projects, accomplishments, material possessions, worldwide renown, even with all this I hated life, and all my work. It was
chasing the wind…
But there is Good News.
Solomon provides insight into our dilemma in chapter two of Ecclesiastes.
“A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God. For without Him, who can eat and find enjoyment”.
“Without Him”, is key to understanding the meaning and purpose of life and all that life encompasses. Purpose that changes a life that is empty to full.
In contrast to our lives which are here today gone tomorrow,the things God has set in motion, the rising and setting of the sun, the rivers that flow into the sea that is never full, the waves of the ocean that rise and recede, the seasons in all their beauty, the sun, the moon, the stars that serve as signs to mark those seasons, days, and years do not change. They continue on and on….
And God who has created the heavens the earth and all they contain, created us to be part of His eternal plan, a plan that just like the foundations of Creation does not change.
And we find in this eternal plan life, meaning, purpose.
In chapter three Solomon provides wisdom he has gained by the end of his life that gives us understanding for ours.
Everything is a season.
And God has made everything beautiful in its time.
Birth, death, planting and harvest, war and peace, laughter and tears, tearing down and building up, mourning and dancing, scattering and gathering, embracing and letting go, these an
are all part of the cycle of life. And each one a gift God has given us.
It reminds us of His hand in everything, He is there in the beginning, He will be there in the end.
Seasons are a reminder that everything is temporary and we are only passing through this life.
He has set eternity in our hearts.
We were not made for this world alone.
God’s intends that we would find joy in this life.
And in the world to come.The joy we find here is nothing to be compared to the joy ahead
Everything God does endures forever.
When we become part of His plan, His purpose so will we.
God has not only set eternity in our hearts but has invited us, and made a way for us to follow Him there.
Solomon concludes his writing with these words;
Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter;
Fear God and keep His commandments.
Life without God will never be what it was meant to be.
Life with God will be more than we could ever imagine it to be.
For that reason I can approach the sixty third year of my life with joy and know that because it is committed to His plan and purpose it is not in vain.
” Go, and eat your food with gladness, drink your wine and enjoy your life with a joyful heart/ Enjoy the wife of your youth, your children and your grandchildren, and work for your bread with gladness, because God favors what you do!”
This video is from the Ecclesia Bible Society translators of the Voice Bible
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