Ecclesiastes 1:1–11 ‘“Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.”’ (v2)
Not everything in the Bible is true. What?! Let me qualify that. Some of the statements in the Bible reflect conversations where what is said is not true, and this is especially true in the book of Ecclesiastes.
It starts as ‘The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem’, which most agree fits for Solomon, writing probably at the end of his life. As you read, the author outlines his reflections of ‘life under the sun’.
In other words, if you take God out of the equation, and any prospect of an afterlife, you could be forgiven for thinking that there is little meaning to be found.
Of course, more modern philosophers would say that we must simply eek out as much good experience as we can from life and thereby give it a meaning for ourselves that it doesn’t actually have.
You may find some who still essentially take this line, though in the richer West, people manage to find meaning in raising families, developing their careers and enjoying social and recreational activity, often without too much thought being given to life after death.
But for many in the West, the haunting realisation that they don’t know why they are on planet earth leads to a pretty bleak outlook, however wealthy they are, and for those battling poverty, or long-term illness, such words as ‘meaningless, meaningless’ probably still resonate.
There have been those who have found the brutal honesty an enormous relief. Here’s someone who expresses how they feel and in a ‘holy’ book. Maybe this comes from a God who understands us and has a solution!
A Prayer To Make:
God, there are times when I wonder what it’s all about. Thank You that You understand. Amen.
An Action To Take:
If life is bleak, then join Solomon in admitting that it is and tell God.
Scripture To Consider:
Ps. 127; 2 Cor. 1:8–11; Heb. 11:32–40