For those who think all the hard questions have just been thought of in recent days, Ecclesiastes sets that to rest. Be sure you don’t make too many conclusions about this book of the Bible until you have read the whole thing. And even then, be careful. I’ve been reading this book for 35 years and haven’t yet had the courage to preach a sermon series from it. Maybe that will come, but I keep reading and stand in awe of this little book.
Life does not consist of simple formulas. It is complex. At times, it seems as if there are endless cycles without meaning (chapter 1). The writer certainly learns the vanity of pursuing endless pleasure (chapter 2). He struggles to see if there is any difference between man and the animals, after he has declared very clearly what that difference is, “eternity into man’s heart.” He struggles with the seeming lack of advantage for the righteous person over the wicked. “There are righteous people to whom it happens according to the deeds of the wicked, and there are wicked people to who it happens according to the deeds of the righteous” (8:14).
In spite of his struggles, the writer of this book of wisdom knows that life is a gift from God to be enjoyed (2:24; 3:12, 13, 22; 5:18-20; 8:15; 9:7-10).
Keep reading and follow the author through to his conclusions in chapter 12. And remember: God hasn’t settled all his accounts yet. Judgment is still to come. But if you know Jesus Christ, you can face that day with great hope. Read Romans 8:18-30.