Ecclesiastes: Christ The Way, The Truth and The Life
Solomon as nearly no other person in history had the world at his feet. He was possessor of uncountable wealth and possessions (2:8); he was unsurpassed in education and knowledge (1:16); he was in the peak of worldly fame, popularity and prominence (2:4-6); he was unbridled in his ability and desire to pursue and find pleasure (2:3). After a life of pursuit he confesses with Christ that one may well gain the whole world and still lose his own soul (Matt. 16:26). Only in the Lord is there any hope for this life! We must meet that "One Shepherd" (12:11) who alone offers "abundant life" (Jn 10:9-10).
With incredible Divine Blessings. With personal visits from the God of Heaven. With wisdom unsurpassed on the planet. With wealth beyond the greatest kings of the Earth. With wine, women and palatial living . . . nothing ever satisfied him. The hands spread out to God in prayer were pulled back and instead grasped the idols of paganism. The heart of zeal for the Living and True God became cold, distant and empty. From this final era trickles ECCLESIASTES.
God divinely inspired Solomon to record the truth of what it takes to have contentment in life as a believer. This is a philosophy of life for us as Christians. The Lord has given us revelation to help us govern our temporal lives on earth. He didn't leave us alone to try to come up with our own plan!
We might distill down the essential truths of these 12 chapters as being:
· LIFE APART FROM GOD IS VAIN.
· LIFE WITH GOD CAN BE VAIN IF CONTENTMENT IS NOT PRACTICED!
The key WORD of the book is "vanity" (37x) and the key phrase is "under the Sun" (only in this book; 28x; it means from an 'earth is all there is' perspective). They are the basis of contented living as we see that life apart from the intervention of God is like breath that is transitory, vapor that is insubstantial and fleeting. The times that this book sounds wrong it is because Solomon seeks to show what those who merely live life "Under the Sun" find it empty "vain". Solomon shows in his life that satisfaction can never be found merely in:
SELF LIFE IS FUTILE, CHRIST LIFE IS EVERYTHING! Frustration is produced by putting out gaze on self or circumstances instead of on the Lord! (Heb 12:2) When we look at self or the world around us it is depressing because both are not designed to last forever!
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