Archive for January 18th, 2013

Ecclesiastes 1

Ecclesiastes 1 begins a rather unusual book in scripture that many have taken and used to validate all kinds of personal life choices.  They want to take something that is targeted at examining secular wisdom and knowledge and the natural mind, and apply it to a much broader outcome.  It focuses on what man can do “under the sun” and doesn’t really take into account revelation from God or actually much beyond what man can do himself.  It is inspired and definitely has importance as it is practical in many ways.

The writer is identified immediately as Solomon who calls himself “the Preacher”.  He shares a collection of wisdom that God has taught him throughout his life.  The translation to preacher is not maybe the best word.  It may be more appropriate to call him “the searcher” as that describes the journey that Solomon was on through life.  He was looking for answers, and purpose, and he immediately tells us what he found.  “Vanity of vanities….all is vanity” is the way he described it.  There is nothing in itself that will satisfy us.  Stuff won’t do it.  People won’t do it.  There is a hole in our heart that God alone can fill.  Until we find a relationship with Him we will have emptiness.

He questions the value of working.  “What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun”?   Work won’t fulfill us either.  Life happens.  Generations come and go.  But God’s plan and activity just keeps on going.  The sun rises and sets.  The wind blows.  Water runs to the sea.  Nature happens the way God created it.  But nature doesn’t fulfill us.  It cannot solve our internal longing.  And life itself doesn’t satisfy.  We may think there is something out there we can find that will magically make us happy, but there isn’t.  In fact, Solomon reminds us that “there is nothing new under the sun”.

Solomon reminds us that we have a very short memory.  “There is no remembrance of former things, nor will there be any remembrance of later things yet to be among those who come after”.  That’s why scripture tells us over and over to remember and teach our children well.  Because we lose perspective on all that God has done.  We forget the goodness of His hands and the blessing He freely gives us.  We need to do what Solomon did to make sure we find our way to the One who will fulfill our deepest need – a relationship with Him.  “I applied my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven”.  Are you seeking God?  Are you pursuing the only answer to the vanity of life?  He alone has the answers.  He alone can satisfy and meet our needs.

%d bloggers like this: