They Put THAT in the Bible?

I like the book of Ecclesiastes.  It’s a book of the Bible that makes people
uncomfortable, and I suppose that’s why I like it.  After all, where else in the Good Book are
you going to find statements like, “Eat, drink and be merry, because tomorrow
you’ll die”?  Or even better, “Live
happily with the woman you love through all the meaningless days of life that
God has given you in this world!”


What?




And old age.  The
author of Ecclesiastes has some cheerful news: “Your teeth will be too few to
do their work, and you will be blind, too. And when your teeth are gone, keep
your lips tightly closed when you eat! Even the chirping of birds will wake you
up. But you yourself will be deaf and tuneless, with a quavering voice. You will
be afraid of heights and of falling, white-haired and withered, dragging along
without any sexual desire. You will be standing at death's door.”  (Eccl. 12:3-5). 


They put that in the Bible?


It’s the story of a guy who basically gives up on life; in the
process of telling us about it, he tramples just about everything sacred.  He has wealth, prestige, power, education,
charity, family connections – you name it, he has it.  Yet of all these things he cries in a rather
tortured voice, “Meaningless!  Everything
is meaningless!”


I think God let Ecclesiastes be part of his Word for a
reason, strange as the book may seem.


The first chapter of the book tips off readers that they’re
in for a wild ride.  Verses 3-9 explain:
“What do people get for all their hard work? Generations come and go, but
nothing really changes. The sun rises and sets and hurries around to rise
again. The wind blows south and north, here and there, twisting back and forth,
getting nowhere. The rivers run into the sea, but the sea is never full. Then
the water returns again to the rivers and flows again to the sea. Everything is
so weary and tiresome! No matter how much we see, we are never satisfied. No
matter how much we hear, we are not content. 
History merely repeats itself.”


That’s not the inspirational uplift I’m hoping for when I
open the Bible, and it only gets worse. 
Later in the book, the author says, “So now I hate life . . . . I am
disgusted that I must leave the fruits of my hard work to others. And who can
tell whether my successors will be wise or foolish? And yet they will control
everything I have gained by my skill and hard work. How meaningless!” (Eccl.
2:17-19, NLT)


So many of us go through life “distracted” by “stuff”, and
we never take time to think about our existence.  What’s the point?  Where are we headed? What are we working
for?  Is there any real purpose, if
everything we do is just going to, well, end?


Some people seek something, believe anything, and try
everything, but in their soul they satisfy nothing.  Ecclesiastes is written for those people,
those who give the best of their lives to earthly things, then wonder why they
feel empty at the end.  It’s written for
older folks that aren’t sure where the years went, and it’s written for younger
folks who aren’t paying attention to the years.


There is an answer.  A
purpose for life.
  You have to read all
the way to the end of Ecclesiastes to find it, but it’s there.  I’d encourage you to check it out for
yourself.

0 comments:

Post a Comment