A lack of appreciation of the wonder of a full salvation in
Christ opens the door to every kind of overbalance, and spells
continual frustration and failure.
This Book is entirely different. It is the experience of a man
who is very wise and then decides that he will experiment with
everything on the earth. (The words he uses are "under the sun"
and he uses it about 28 times in this Book). He wants to find out
if anything will make him happy. The writer is King Solomon and he
lacks nothing to be able to find the answer. So he tries.
Sometimes he gets near the truth but at other times he is far from
it. (3:18-22, 7:16, 17). But divine teaching is in the last two
verses of the book. They give the answer to the searchings in 1:13
and 2:3. Pleasure, being "good", learning lots, riches and on and
on, cannot bring happiness. Why? Because evil is only in this
world. Remember that Solomon didn't know about the Lord Jesus. He
was searching for satisfaction down here, but we have found joy
and peace in a heavenly Man. It is important to realize also, that
the more a person tries to find happiness down here, the more
unhappy he becomes.
Ecc 1:1 In this book "God" is used because it is man's
experience on earth before God, without knowing Him as Lord.
Ecc 1:4-11 Work, work, work, never ending.... never satisfied.....
so goes all creation on earth. Genesis 3:17-19 tell us why this is
Ecc 1:12-18 Something to think about, for any who would go
after "much wisdom and knowledge" about everything on earth. The
man who had more learning than any other man on earth (except
Christ, of course) tells us in verse 14 what he discovered.
It is necessary to remember a fundamental principle in the
spiritual life - that God only reveals spiritual truths to meet
Ecc 2:1-3 If much learning will not satisfy the heart, will
joking and pleasure and entertainment bring contentment? No.
Ecc 2:4-11 Well, then, what about a good, hard work to make the
world a nicer, cleaner, prettier place in which to live? What
about getting "things" for ourselves? Verse 11 repeats the same
Ecc 2:12-19 If all that he had discovered about life was true,
what difference did it make whether a man was wise or foolish? The
"one event" that happens to all is death which ends everything
here on earth, so why work so hard just to leave all to others? (Without
the good news of God's salvation, what emptiness in life!).
Ecc 2:20-21 Solomon left all to his son Rehoboam who did not
profit from his father's wisdom. (Are we learning from Solomon?)
Ecc 2:22-26 As some say, "eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow
you die!" What a terrible way to live.
Whatever weakens your reasons, impairs the tenderness of your
conscience, obscures your sense of God, or takes off your relish
for spiritual things - that is sin to you.
Ecc 3:1-8 This is not Christianity, remember, but what Solomon
sees as going on in every day life.
Ecc 3:9-15 Everything keeps going on, man cannot really change
anything, nor can he tell the future. All is in God's hands, but
even the knowledge of this does not bring contentment.
Ecc 3:16-22 Without the revelation of God's truth, these verses
are the only conclusion a man can make - no real difference
between man and animal. That is where the teaching of evolution
comes from, for evolution denies the truth of God's Word that He
created the world.
Enthusiasm is easier than obedience.
Ecc 4:1-16 If the last few verses of chapter 3 were true, it is
better to be dead than alive, and better yet never to have been
born! But if living, it is better to have a little of this world's
goods and quietness, than to have much and distress.
Ecc 4:7-12 Better to have companions than to live alone.
Ecc 4:13-16 Solomon failed at the end of his life as king, and
here he is concerned over whether his son would take the warnings.
(Please don't forget that these chapters are the findings and
reasonings of man, not God's thoughts.)
Is this becoming for a follower of Christ? Is this suited to
the glory and character of His kingdom? Will this pleasure or
displease my Lord and Saviour? These are questions of love!
Ecc 5:1-8 What a warning to watch our talk and our actions! God
is listening and watching! (Matt. 14:7-10 is an example of the
first part of verse 6).
Ecc 5:9-17 The apostle Paul makes use of this teaching in 1
Tim. 6:7-10. But Paul had the truth of God to give the happy side
of the subject, while Solomon only gives us the sad side, as seen
from men's viewpoint.
Ecc 5:18-20 It is not a sin to be rich in this world's goods,
but those goods will not really satisfy the heart. It is the
desire to be rich (see 1 Tim. 6:9-10) which brings sadness and
frustration in life.
Let your looks and bodily actions be a great advertisement that
God's Holy Spirit lives inside.
Ecc 6:1-5 How foolish to try to get much of this world's money,
goods and fame, only to find that they do not bring lasting
Ecc 6:6 Even though that person lived 2,000 years, he would see
Ecc 6:7-12 Many questions but no answers! Only God's truth can
give the right answers. (Are we looking for His answers in His
Word each day? We find them in the New Testament).
We might summarize the first six chapters as showing the vanity
or emptiness of all things on the earth; the last six chapters as
showing that true wisdom is the only worthwhile path through this
world. (But it doesn't tell how to get it).
Remember: because you may have information does not mean you
Ecc 7:1-6 Different things are compared. Notice the better
things. Those who don't face the serious side are called fools.
Ecc 7:7-14 A patient spirit and carefulness should be seen in
Ecc 7:16-18 Man says moderation in all things is the best
policy. (This is not God's wisdom, as we are seeing in this book
Ecc 7:19-28 Right conclusions but nothing to give any hope.
(The "one man" of verse 28 would tell us of Christ, but even His
righteous life cannot save a man, but only condemns him further.
It is only through the death of Christ that a man gets what he
needs, but that news is in the gospel of God's revelation, not in
what a man can observe on earth). (In our "day of grace" a
believer may have many more difficulties than an unbeliever, just
as the Lord Jesus had).
There are no short cuts in the ways of God.
Ecc 8:1-7 Those who are in authority should be respected and
obeyed, otherwise there would be no government, it is ordained by
God (Romans 13:1-3).
Ecc 8:8 No person can make his spirit stay in himself, or
leave, just by his own speaking. This is a clear testimony to the
deity of Christ, for He did send His spirit from His body (Matt.
Ecc 8:9-14 Innocent people are punished at times and the guilty
ones get away with their bad deeds. Is there no justice? Yes,
there is, but sinful man is not able to carry it out. Only Christ
can, and He will, during the coming period of the millennium.
Ecc 8:15-17 "Why worry about tomorrow and its troubles? Man
cannot tell the future anyway - only God knows. Have a good time
today". Aren't these what so many in this world are saying?
Ecc 8:17 Read 1 Corinthians 1:21, to see what God has given us
It is always more humble to be guided by His Word than by our
own thoughts and feelings.
Ecc 9:1-12 Death happens to all mankind. If the truth of God is
not known, the end of verse 11 is what man sees - the timing of
things, and luck. But God is in control, and there is judgment
ahead even though people do not know it (verse 12 - let's remember
Ecc 9:13-18 "Little city" - (this world); "great king" -
(Satan); "poor wise man" - (Christ in His work upon the cross).
The end of verse 16 is what is true about mankind in general.
Ecc 9:17 is true of believers who listen to Christ, not Satan.
The cross of Christ tests every heart.
Ecc 10:1-15 Soberness and quietness of spirit, willing to take
an unimportant place, knowing how to speak graciously and simply -
these are wise sayings which may give a person a peaceful life on
earth, but it won't save his soul.
Ecc 10:16-20 More observations of life - young people do not
make good leaders, money has great power over people, watch your
talk in private.
Your sense of sin will always be in proportion to your nearness
Ecc 11:1-6 Further thoughts - share what you have; things take
their natural course as ordered by God; man cannot control the
outcome of his acts. These observations lead Solomon to the next
Ecc 11:7-10 Serious conclusion at the end of verse 9. The word
"youth" in verse 10 means "the prime of life". What a word this
should be to each one of us! What is considered the best time of
life, is vanity, emptiness, meaningless. (Are you glad you have
Christ as your Saviour? He gives meaning to life).
We only show what we really are when we are away from home.
Ecc 12:1-7 There is never a better time to think about God and
eternity than when we are young. As we get older, life becomes
harder with more responsibilities. See if you can see different
members of the body here - verse 3 arms, legs, teeth. The body
returns to dust (Genesis 3:19) after death. The end of verse 7
does not tell us what God does with man's spirit. We have to turn
elsewhere in God's Word to find out.
Ecc 12:8 No change in Solomon's decision. Have we learned this
Ecc 12:9-12 We get those proverbs that God has kept for us in
the book of Proverbs which give heavenly wisdom for life on earth
but not for salvation.
Ecc 12:13-14 Solomon's conclusion to all that he saw on earth
is told us in this book of Ecclesiastes. There is much wisdom and
help; (but when we are born again we receive the heavenly new
life, and we learn of this in Paul's Epistles).