For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
Those born in the 1950’s certainly recognize these verses as part of a Pete Seeger song made famous by The Byrds, Turn Turn Turn. The song has been touted as an anti-war song. King Solomon was not writing a song for the “peace movement” when composing these eight verses. King Solomon was reminding us about the balance of the universe. Continue reading
What has a man from all the toil and striving of heart with which he toils beneath the sun? For all his days are full of sorrow, and his work is a vexation. Even in the night his heart does not rest. This also is vanity.
These verses summarize what I have written in two of my previous posts. Those posts covered King Solomon and his quest for understanding man. In Ecclesiastes 1:13-14 Solomon writes about setting his heart to seek the understanding of man’s actions. As a result of this quest he realizes how hollow man can be.
In Ecclesiastes 1:2-11 Solomon writes about the forces of life, God, the universe, and the vanity of man. He tells me, for man to think that these forces don’t exist, or that man can change them, well that is truly vanity.
So now in Ecclesiastes 2:22-23, Solomon tells us the results of toiling and striving after worldly things under the sun. The constant toil for worldly items brings sorrow and vexation. It is vanity, it is pointless. Continue reading
I thought today, since I am writing about the book of Ecclesiastes, I would start from the beginning. The very first verse tells us in a sort of cryptic way about the author of this book. They refer to themselves as the Preacher. Most people believe that person to be King Solomon.
The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
If you take this verse at it’s face value, the son of David and King in Jerusalem was Solomon. Some say that “son” may refer to the lineage of King David, but I’ll keep it simple and stick with Solomon as the Preacher. Who wrote the book isn’t as important as the lessons being taught in this book. King Solomon starts teaching from the first verses. Continue reading
Again I saw all the oppressions that are done under the sun. And behold, the tears of the oppressed, and they had no one to comfort them! On the side of their oppressors there was power, and there was no one to comfort them. And I thought the dead who are already dead more fortunate than the living who are still alive. But better than both is he who has not yet been and has not seen the evil deeds that are done under the sun.
Solomon is writing about the evil that exists in the world. When I read these verses I wrote the following note to myself: “Evil always has and always will exist in the world.” Solomon writes that those who are dead and those who have not been born are better off than the living. Why does he say this? Because from birth to death we will always come in contact with evil. Only those who no longer exist or those who never existed will be void of evil. Continue reading
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.
King Solomon is telling us that no matter what we do, do it to the best of our abilities.
This reminds me of something I was told by one of my contacts whom I worked with at a large customer. I dealt with him for a number of years. He was always honest and fair with me and I appreciated it very much. Unfortunately he passed away suddenly and I never had the chance to express my gratitude and enjoyment of working with him. Continue reading
And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”
These verse remind me of Stephen Covey’s seven habits.
Habit number seven is, Sharpen The Saw. The Franklin Covey website explains Habit Seven as this:
“Sharpening the saw means preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have — you. It means having a balanced program for your self renewal in the four areas of your life; physical, social/emotional, mental and spiritual.” Continue reading
What gain has the worker from his toil? I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man.
Ecclesiastes is one of my favorite books in the entire Bible and King Solomon is one of my favorite persons in the Old Testament.
The above passage talks about the most recurring theme from all of King Solomon’s writing.
The theme that’s been my words to live by, which is summed up in verse 13. Continue reading
Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher,
vanity of vanities! All is vanity.
What does man gain by all the toil
at which he toils under the sun?
A generation goes, and a generation comes,
but the earth remains forever.
The sun rises, and the sun goes down,
and hastens to the place where it rises.
The wind blows to the south
and goes around to the north;
around and around goes the wind,
and on its circuits the wind returns.
All streams run to the sea,
but the sea is not full;
to the place where the streams flow,
there they flow again.
All things are full of weariness;
a man cannot utter it;
the eye is not satisfied with seeing,
nor the ear filled with hearing.
What has been is what will be,
and what has been done is what will be done,
and there is nothing new under the sun.
Is there a thing of which it is said,
“See, this is new”?
It has been already
in the ages before us.
There is no remembrance of former things,
nor will there be any remembrance
of later things yet to be
among those who come after.
My previous post, Vexation and Sorrow in Knowledge, dealt with King Solomon coming to the conclusion that setting your heart to understanding all of the things done by man is a sorrowful deal. Here in these opening verses of Ecclesiastes, he tells us that all is vanity. Continue reading
For there is a time and a way for everything, although man’s trouble lies heavy on him. For he does not know what is to be, for who can tell him how it will be?
King Solomon is speaking of the anxiety that we feel every day. The fear and worry that we go through no matter how wonderful our lives may be. We still operate with a small amount of fear and doubt about the future.
It’s a fear of the unknown. No matter what anyone my try to tell you, there is not, there never has been and there never will be anyone who can honestly predict the future.
You might say, well what about the prophets? Continue reading
Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed speedily, the heart of the children of man is fully set to do evil.
We have all asked the question how do such evil people get away with doing such evil things and yet here I am toiling away doing it the right way and getting nowhere?
In Ecclesiastes 8:11 King Solomon is addressing that question because just as today, people had the same thoughts in ancient times. To quote Solomon, “there is nothing new under the sun”. Continue reading