As I read through all twelve chapters of Ecclesiastes this morning, I couldn’t help but realize the obvious theme: “Life stinks!”
Well, those aren’t Solomon’s exact words. He put it this way: “‘Everything is meaningless,’ says the Teacher, ‘completely meaningless!'” (Ecclesiastes 1:2)
As I read through the book, I saw where he explored every avenue possible to make sense of life and to achieve happiness. He pursued wealth and wisdom, self-indulgent living, wine, sex/relationships, ambitious building projects, accumulating wealth, … On and on this list could go.
Yet, over and over, he tells the reader that these are dead end roads. They hold out the promise of bringing happiness but in the end, they don’t deliver.
You could get pretty discouraged reading this book and quit before the end unless you realized what Solomon was doing as he wrote it. One very clear hint he drops quite often is the phrase “under heaven” or “under the sun.” In this short book, he utters those phrases 29 times!
Essentially, Solomon is waving his arms wildly at the reader as he yells: “This life stinks if you live it as an end in itself. If you are looking for happiness only in what you can gain in this life, you’ll be left discouraged. Don’t look for happiness ‘under the sun.’ Look over the sun!”
Listen to how Solomon ends the book. “That’s the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty. God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).
That’s the purpose of life! Live in light of what’s over the sun. Realize that we will one day stand before our judge to give an account for our life. If you are saved and this life is filled with nothing but difficulty and disappointment, look toward your Heavenly reward!
Look “over the sun!”