Insights on Today's Reading
Warren Wiersbe comments that Ecclesiastes speaks of life, pessimistically, yes, but perhaps realistically. Life can be hard, especially if one leaves God out! The book's name comes from the idea of Solomon calling himself, "the Preacher," who calls for an assembly to gather to listen. The Greek word for "assembly" is ekklesia, which means, "called out ones." It's the same Greek word used for the "Church."
Ecclesiastes 1 - "Vanity of vanities" is a common expression in this chapter as well as this book. Life is seen has a constant cycle and nothing ever seems to change. So-called "new things" come along, but they are merely repeats of what's been done before. Solomon explains that he is searching for meaning.
Ecclesiastes 2 - Solomon "tested" various philosophies of life. Living for pleasure was one of them. But he found no ultimate profit from it. He sought for greater wisdom and knew that wisdom excels folly, but both the wise man and the fool die. Hard work is better than laziness, but for what purpose?
Ecclesiastes 3 - The idea of "balance" is suggested in the first 8 verses. People inevitably have pleasure and then pain, they pick things up and put things down, they live and eventually they die. But he sees that God makes things beautiful too, except that even these things fade away as well. Solomon concludes that one should live enjoying the things he/she has, and not spend their time complaining about what they don't have.
Ecclesiastes 4 - Life is full of oppressions and inequalities. You work hard, but for what reason. When you come to the "end" what have you really accomplished? Solomon does speak of the blessing of having a companion with whom you can share life together. There's practical help from someone else in your life even if it is that they are there to pick you up when you fall.
Ecclesiastes 5 - One should always be careful not to promise anything to God and then not fulfill it! He emphasizes the need to fear God, verse 7. Riches can be a distraction. You can get all you can but is there a real purpose for doing so? It is clear, you won't taking anything with you when you die. Solomon still encourages the hard worker to enjoy what he can while he's alive, and remember that God gives him strength to do so.
Ecclesiastes 6 - This chapter speaks of the futility of life from the world's point of view. Even if a person lives a long life and has a hundred children, verse 3, he still will not be satisfied. Long life doesn't really matter, either. What will happen after one dies?
Daily commentary and insight from Pastor Eckardt.
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Mt Ephraim Baptist Church | 25 S. Black Horse Pike | Mt Ephraim, NJ 08059
Senior Pastor, Stephen A. Eckardt | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Phone: 856.981.7288