April 18, 2011
Next on my journey through God’s Word, I’m heading to Ecclesiastes. Not sure why…it’s just one of those books I’ve never read in its entirety. Here’s a little background to get started.
Ecclesiastes is among what is known as the Bible’s Wisdom Literature. The author is most likely King Solomon but there is some debate about that. Those who do believe that King Solomon penned this book believe that he did so in his later years. They believe that he was talking to the younger population and he was telling them to not make his mistakes. He retells his past history of squandering God’s blessing for personal gain and not God’s glory. He doesn’t want those who follow him to make those same mistakes. So let’s see what we can learn from him.
Ecclesiastes 1:1-2 Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher vanity of vanities! All is vanity.
Vanity is a major theme of this book. The word vanity is used 38 times and each time there is a small shift in its intended meaning. This, of course, makes interpretation more difficult. Vanity in Hebrew means vapor. And considering that Solomon is looking back on his life he sees that all those things he thought were so important were but vapors. Only those things that will further God’s kingdom have substance. I wonder if at the end of my life how much will I view as smoke. How much will I have to wish I had done differently? I think that for the most part we all will have things we wish we could redo, but the goal, I believe, is to limit what those things are. Limit how much we will have to regret. The only way we have to accomplish this is to live lives that glorify God, live lives that leave no doubt who we live for.