Ecclesiastes – What Does It Say?

  • Peter Friesen, Author
  • Retired Minister

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14… 13) Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. 14) For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil. (NIV)

Ecclesiastes uncovers – reveals – makes known the wisdom of life as you and I know it. But we also understand that this life carries with it harsh negatives, like sorrow and death. For us to live wisely means that we need to take death seriously and embrace it as part of our time here in this world.

The wisdom which sees life as something beautiful must also recognize that death is inevitable. The Word of God is an important part of our life – not our own words but God’s. God’s word of judgment and of grace before it we must remain silent and listen. In our approach to God, it is important and necessary to remember the Holiness of God and respect the infinite preeminence – difference – between God and life on earth.

All life on earth are creatures of time. God has put eternity into our hearts, and all human life knows that we have not arrived, there will always be a sense that we are not there yet. But the Preacher says… When the man in his old years goes to his home in his old age to die his mourners will follow at his funeral’ They shall return the body to the grave where it will return to dust as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher; all is vanity… nothing more to say.

Vanity – the self-importance of all things… that begs us to take a critical eye on the Word of God; for humans are by no means eager to disregard – Ignore religion if it is a modern-day theology – softened – tamed to fit the needs and wants of modern-day humanity. For there is an engrained tendency in humankind to seek to make use of God; in other words, to subjugate God to themselves and their own personal concerns – to treat Him as a coworker a partner. However, the Word of God is not meant to echo our words, it is God’s own word, His Word of judgment and of grace, and before it we must be silent and listen.

Youth of today and youth of yester years… I remember a great deal of my youth of yester years. Part of my yester years I would rather forget now that I am in my senior years… The writer of Ecclesiastes: I shall take the liberty and name him Solomon because I believe he is the author who advises the youth of his day to enjoy the season of youth while it is their time – before the hair on their heads turn grey and they ultimately come to the end of life like everyone does.

However, in heaven we will receive a new body, a new body made for eternity. Unlike the ones we currently have, created for this world, our newly resurrected bodies are going to be a forever type… the present one is a natural body; the future one will be spiritual. But in the life to come we will be such that the Spirit can truly fill us, as can never happen here, and the Spirit can truly use us, as is never possible now. Then we will be able to render the perfect worship, the perfect service, the perfect love; that now can only be a vision and a dream…

To God Be the Glory Great Things He Has Done

Would you pray this prayer with me? “Lord Jesus, come into my heart. Forgive my sins. I want my life to change. My thoughts and my attitude need to change. I do not have the peace in my heart that I yearn for. I want peace, joy and happiness that fulfills my heart’s desire. Please let the Holy Spirit help me be the kind of Christian that will honor Your Name. Amen”