Today we are beginning the book of Ecclesiastes. Ecclesiastes was written by King Solomon, the same King Solomon who wrote the book of Proverbs. Like Proverbs, Ecclesiastes is classified as a book of wisdom. But you will very quickly see that Solomon’s approach is much different here. I don’t want to give away too much right now, but I do want to say that it is important to stick with this book right up to the end. Don’t bail early, and don’t draw conclusions early. This is a book that requires patience on the part of the reader.
Solomon sounds jaded and world-weary, doesn’t he? Almost makes you want to just give up, right? Well, don’t bail on him just yet. There is a reason that Ecclesiastes is in the Bible, but it takes a little while to discover it. It’s not a long book. There are only 12 chapters.
For those who may not know, Solomon was the son of King David. That’s the David of the David and Goliath story. After David slew Goliath, he grew up to become King of Israel. Solomon, the author of Ecclesiastes, became King after David died in his old age. When he became King, he asked God not for military might or great wealth, but wisdom in order to rule Israel well. God was pleased with this prayer, and he not only made Solomon the wisest man that had ever lived, but also the richest, with every other gift that could be desired.
As he writes this book, he is well along in years, and he has seen it all, and with all of his wisdom and all of his wealth and possessions, he has found that life is empty. Money, fame and power have not brought him happiness. Beautiful homes, good wine, the ability to have anything that his heart desired have only made him angry and sad. The thought of working his entire life to achieve these things, only to have to leave it all behind for someone else who didn’t work for them, is almost more than he can bear.
And so he sums it up by saying that it is all useless. Something tells me that Solomon would probably not be invited as guest speaker to many places.
Well, as I said. Hang around to see how this progresses. And please, don’t let Solomon depress you. God is still on the throne, He loves you, and Jesus is still the Savior of mens’ souls.