Upon further reading, a very simple theme begins to emerge. God is in control of all things and God wants man to enjoy the beauty He has created for him. The problems that arise come from the burden of the knowledge of the great eternity that God has planned for His creation.
Solomon also looks at God's tests of man as a reminder of their place in all things in the creation and universe. Man must understand that no matter what they want and "toil" for, it is all meaningless unless it is what God has actually called them to do. Man's toil and work cannot change the future that God holds for them in his plan.
You may ask, "How does this affect me as a Christian? Does this mean that I am predestined?"
Not exactly. Solomon is writing at a time when the Revelation of Jesus Christ and the saving grace bestowed upon believers was not known. It relates to Christians in the simplest way of all:
"But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus. " (Roman 3:21-26)
God revealed His master plan through the death and resurrection of his son Jesus Christ and showed His true love for us. He gave our life true meaning and showed us our place in His plan. He helped us understand that putting our faith the Lord Jesus Christ allows us to fully enjoy His creation. It gave us a little more to look forward to. Now, the meaninglessness of life, the fear of returning to dust and accomplishing nothing, gives way to the hope and a better understanding of our roles in creation. Our acceptance of Christ as our Savior and the corresponding "works" that arise from that acceptance, finally allow us to make our lives meaningful, instead of meaningless, and truly live out God's plan for all mankind.
Lord, help me to truly come to understand my role in Your work. I thank you daily for giving us Your saving grace through your Son, Jesus Christ. May the confidence that you have in all mankind be lived out in my life. Help me to be a good father, husband, friend, and witness to Your love and hope. Give me the wisdom to realize that You are in control, even if we would like to think that we are. I ask this in Your glorious name, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Over the past few weeks, I have been reading Ecclesiastes. I am not sure what prompted me to read this book, but I am guessing that there was something going on in my life, and in my spirit that needed to be addressed. Maybe it was that I needed a little wisdom and perspective for those in my life, or for myself. Whatever the reason, Solomon's words have been enriching.
I titled this post "Ecclesiastes is depressing" because on my first read of the book, and through the first few chapters, I was really down. For example, Ecclesiastes 1:2 opens:
"Meaningless! Meaningless!" says the Teacher. "Utterly meaningless! Everything is Meaningless."
How else am I, as a Christian, supposed to react to that statement? I was not taught to believe that life is meaningless. I was taught that through Christ's love and grace, I could achieve anything. I realized, after the first couple of chapters, that I needed to continue my reading of Ecclesiastes in an attempt to truly understand Solomon’s intense negativity in the beginning of this book.
I challenge you to read through this useful book of the Old Testament. The realizations that I have amassed in the few short weeks of my study have only begun to scratch the surface of my understanding of what God truly wants out of my life. I pray that I may come to an understanding of God’s plan for me differently than Solomon did and not achieve wisdom in life feeling the following:
“For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief.” (Ecclesiastes 1:18)
Lord, grant to me the wisdom that I need to win Your battles in my life. Help me to see wisdom not as a burden, but strength to better serve You and Your people. Guide me when challenged, that my decisions and words may be Spirit filled and focused on Your heart and not my jealous, angry, or flesh filled desires. I ask this in Your Most Holy Name, Jesus Christ. Amen.
I am starting this blog to share my thoughts on specific topics that I am studying within the Bible. Sometimes, they will be on a specific verse through which the Holy Spirit has spoken to me. Other times, it will be on a lengthy reading...over time. You may disagree with my thoughts, you may agree, and hopefully you have an opinion. That is fine. The important thing is that you are thinking about the Word of God!
With all the blogs and websites out there that talk about anything but God, I figured I would go in the opposite direction. Of course, since I do have a family and responsibilities, I may not update as often as you or I may like and it may be infrequent, at times, that I respond to comments, but I want to share in the hopes that someone out there may come to know God a little better or maybe even accept Christ in their lives.
I will probably, at times, post pictures and comments about my gorgeous wife and beautiful daughter as well as links to websites I find interesting.
Anyway, enough for now. I will work on getting the first real post out there soon. I hope that you enjoy what you read, or at least are challenged to think about things in a whole new way.