September 1, 2014

Today you should read: Ecclesiastes 1

Is life worth living? Are the trials worth enduring? Why do the work that we do if it seems to produce fleeting results? Is everything meaningless? These are tough questions. Honestly, they are questions that even many Christians are afraid to wrestle with. But these are the questions that Solomon was willing to write about. And guess what? They made it into the pages of scripture which gives them immeasurable value.

The book of Ecclesiastes, though at times painting Solomon as a bit of a Gloomy Gus, is also a breath of fresh air. It’s honest and raw. It probes the most profound thoughts in life that are often left unspoken. It makes us contemplate our very existence and how to lead a truly meaningful life. Here’s a great quote on the overall theme of the book from the NLT Study Bible’s “Introduction to Ecclesiastes”:


The question we’re all asking after reading Ecclesiastes 1 is, mostly likely, why is Solomon so bummed? I propose a few reasons:

First, he lived the good life, and he knew firsthand that all of the riches this world has to offer will still leave you empty. He had the horses (a sign of immense wealth), the servants, the five-course dinners; you name it, he had it. But it didn’t fill his soul. In fact, it did the opposite.

Second, he witnessed the reality of life’s brevity. Wars were a constant in Israel. He experienced loss just like all of us do. He also had the power to put others to death, and his writing seems to indicate that he is haunted by this authority.

Third, the world is fallen and marred by sin. Even (maybe the better word is especially) at the pinnacle position of king, you see the depravity of mankind.

Fourth, he was a philosophical and poetic thinker. This is the same guy that wrote Proverbs and Song of Solomon. It may be that Solomon had a melancholy, up-and-down sort of personality.

While Solomon is depressed and wondering if there is any meaning to life, we who live on this side of the cross and resurrection, know that the answer is YES. Jesus gives hope. He offers real purpose and direction in the midst of “everything meaningless”. As we go through this book together, I encourage you to keep this verse in your mind:

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. (John 10:10 ESV)

Welcome to Ecclesiastes, CPC! What did you take away from today’s reading? How did the Lord encourage you or convict you today? Be blessed!

Posted by: Todd Thomas