Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Nothing is New...

If you haven't read Ecclesiastes before, today's scripture reading includes the entire book--which may seem confusing, alarming, frustrating and disconcerting upon first read. And that's just for starters! As I begin to try to explain a little of what is so great and so difficult about the book, let me encourage you to read and study it for yourself.

Written by Solomon, Ecclesiastes is a compilation of his thoughts about life and the futility and frustration associated with human, earthly existence. At first glance and without a little deeper digging, it seems that he is basically saying everything is pointless, so eat, drink and be merry because you are going to die eventually and take nothing with you. He seems to be warning us that we are nothing more than animals with benefits.

That's why it is important to note that Solomon's book is not dealing with the "spiritual" man, it is dealing with the "natural" man and his search for life's purpose. In these chapters, the wise king is not speaking of God as Jehovah God, instead he is referencing God in much the same way a lost, worldly person views him--something akin to a force or higher power as in the Star Wars movies.

In his great wisdom, Solomon recognized that the search for meaning in life is futile apart from personally experiencing God in a way that transcends the superficial, artificial manner that relegates him to a place of distance or merely a force of power beyond our realm and consciousness.

Throughout theses chapters, there are hidden gems of truth that must be acknowledged though--and because I would not attempt to improve upon or better convey these thoughts, I have selected these verses as worthy of contemplation. Think on these things as you join me in giving thanks to God for allowing us to have lives of purpose because of our personal relationships with Him through Christ, His Son.


2:9 History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new. 10 Sometimes people say, “Here is something new!” But actually it is old; nothing is ever truly new. 11 We don’t remember what happened in the past, and in future generations, no one will remember what we are doing now.

3:11 Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. 12 So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. 13 And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God.

5:10 Those who love money will never have enough. How meaningless to think that wealth brings true happiness! 11 The more you have, the more people come to help you spend it. So what good is wealth—except perhaps to watch it slip through your fingers!

7:4 A wise person thinks a lot about death, while a fool thinks only about having a good time.

10:2 A wise person chooses the right road; a fool takes the wrong one.

12:1 Don’t let the excitement of youth cause you to forget your Creator. Honor him in your youth before you grow old and say, “Life is not pleasant anymore.”

12:13 That’s the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty. 14 God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad.

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