The Joy of Unit-Reading #6 (the book of Ecclesiastes)

26 Oct

We are seeking to unit-read each of the books of the Bible (with the exception Screen Shot 2015-10-04 at 6.18.54 AMof the book of Psalms).  The theme of many of the sixty-six books in our canon will emerge as we read straight through the book at one sitting.

So often our reading of Scripture is piecemeal and haphazard.  Unit-reading requires a sustained and concentrated effort at going through a book, seeking to discover its primary focus.

I must admit, the book of Ecclesiastes is a tough one!  A depressed person should not choose this book as his first to unit-read!  King Solomon takes every aspect of life (work, play, education, goals, wealth, evil, etc.) and draws the conclusion with each of them:  “This is all meaninglessness!”  (I’m not sure I would have invited Solomon to any parties.  I’m afraid he would have been a “wet blanket” and people would have gone home early).

Screen Shot 2015-10-04 at 6.21.22 AMPerhaps Solomon’s purpose is to drive the happy-go-lucky person to a kind of despair IF God is not their sole center of life.   In one of the chapters he writes,

You who are young, be happy while you are young,
and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth.
Follow the ways of your heart
and whatever your eyes see,
but know that for all these things
God will bring you into judgment.

He advises: “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.”  He has used all his might to write an Old Testament book which makes us question every aspect of life.  He tells us, “The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails—given by one shepherd.”

Thankfully we know the Shepherd who was nailed to the cross for us — so that life will not be meaningless!

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Posted by on October 26, 2015 in unit-reading


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