Today’s Tasting: Ecclesiastes 1–6
The Background to Ecclesiastes
The theme of Ecclesiastes is a quest for life’s meaning. Solomon authored Ecclesiastes, perhaps in his old age. Although Solomon started out following in his father’s footsteps, being devoted to serving God, he eventually chose not to serve God wholeheartedly or completely. Solomon took women from among the foreign nations as wives and eventually allowed them to pull him away from following God. He set up shrines to his wives’ idols. Because of this the Lord was angry with Solomon. He declared that the kingdom would be taken away from Solomon’s son. After Solomon’s death, his son Rehoboam succeeded him but, just as God had said, discord led to a split in the kingdom, into Israel and Judah. Eventually, the people of Israel were taken into captivity for seventy years.
Today’s Nourishment: Although it’s possible that Solomon repented and turned back to God in his old age, he died a powerless, defeated man. He watched the division of the kingdom and the decline of Israel from the sidelines.
Solomon uses the expressions “Vanity of vanities” and “All is utter emptiness or meaningless” repeatedly in Ecclesiastes. We see the reason for this, as we feast on His Word today.
Ecclesiastes was penned by a man searching for answers, who began to see clearly as he searched. Solomon had achieved everything that he ever set out to accomplish. All his dreams were fulfilled in his lifetime. However, when Solomon stepped away from God and attempted to satisfy his desires himself he lost his purpose.
Without Christ, all becomes empty. Solomon spiraled from “all I accomplished” to “all is utterly meaningless.” This idea now reigned over Solomon and his kingdom.
If you read Ecclesiastes 1:12–2:24 you’ll see that the word “I” appears more than fifty times in this short passage. You could say “the I’s have it!” This is evidence of how self-absorbed Solomon had become. As with Solomon, when we allow “self” to rule, we inevitably become disobedient to God. My question today is, In what ways are you “self”-absorbed?
Tomorrow’s Delight: Ecclesiastes 7–12
Carolyn Marlowe, CCLC
Gigi to six adorable grandchildren