Ecclesiastes At A Glance

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Written by who: ‘Quoheleth’ or teacher. the teacher is identified as son of David, which is casually taken as Solomon.

If we thought Song of Songs was a surprising book, Ecclesiastes is more surprising for the most different reason, it is a cynical, weary dismissal of life from, one who has seen it all and regrets it. A major statement seems to be ‘Everything is meaningless.

What is the meaning of life, when we get to a senior age, and start to look at our mortality, when we suddenly know and feel the full awareness that someday we will die, we might too start to reflect on what is the meaning of life.

Nothing makes sense, everything is nonsense. Verses 1 verse 2 “Absolutely Futile, Everything is Futile”.

It is not exactly a happy introduction. Not what we might call ‘uplifting’, but it does have appeal, for if we are all honest, who has not thought this way at times.

The speaker which is believed to be Solomon, describes more about his life. He has lived in luxury and fame {2 verse 8}. He is the wisest man in his time{2 verse 9}. But he cannot make sense of any of it.

even though he describes it is better to be wise then foolish, he even believes this gets nowhere. what is to be really gained from hard work. Best thing to do is to live in the moment, eat, drink and be merry. If we please God we will be rewarded, but there he sees that doesn’t work either.

Despite his cynicism, the writer cannot reject, the idea of God, and knows that God makes everything happen at the right time. { 3 verse 11}

Life is unfair and he even turns his cynical eye to worship. Again there is a sense of pointlessness in his thinking, a sense in which, God comes across as a grumpy old man, ready to take offense at our slightest remarks, He even thinks it is better to say nothing than to say the wrong thing.

Virtually Ecclesiastes is one mans search for meaning. This will seem like one incredible, twisted and contradictory book, if we read it from a writer’s point of view.

There are incredible shifts, one moment the writer says life is unfair, unfulfilling, and makes no sense whatsoever. The next minute, he is saying, we should enjoy life, work hard, and obey God.

This is really an honest reference of a person struggling with doubt, despair and being disillusioned. But he does work his way through the struggle and does find a sense of comfort that is worth sharing.

There is so much to write on Ecclesiastes, so lets define it in a nut shell.

All is meaningless;  1 verse 1 and 2 verse 26

Everything has it’s moment:  3 verses 1 to 22.

Life is so unfair  4 verse 1.and 6 verse 12.

The way of the world: 5 verse 8 to 12.

No one knows the future: 7 verse 1 and 11 verse 6.

Respect God: 11 verse 7 and 12 verse 14.

The Book of Ecclesiastes looks at human life from a realist point of view, and suggests that life is meaningless, without the spiritual dimension. It tells us to be content with what we have, and teaches us to keep everything in a proper perspective.

Whether the book is a genuine record of one mans anguish, or a deliberate attempt to portray a way of thinking, it is difficult to judge. Whatever it is, it serves as a wake up call to us. This is the opposite side of The Bible, and we should do all in our power to help those who are trapped in the kind of attitudes that are displayed in this book.

Key verse 1 verse 2 “Nothing makes sense1 Everything is nonsense. i have seen it all, nothing makes sense.”

It is the most contradictory book in the Bible, it is enjoyable to read, so have a great time reading it and enjoying it.

God Bless.

O F J.

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