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Ecclesiastes: Chapter 1

The Book of Ecclesiastes is believed by most people to have been written by King Solomon near the end of his life. It is a reflection of what he has seen and learned as he looks back on his life. Much of the book is filled with sentiments of regret and conclusions of the worthlessness of life and its pursuits.

In the first chapter the author identifies himself as the teacher and pronounces everything as “meaningless”. A word he will use over thirty times in this book to describe various aspects of life. He questions what a man gains by all his labor, no one will remember us or anyone else years and years from now anyway. Everything that happens has already happened in the past. In the meantime the world just goes on and on, each day like the rest. The sun comes up, the sun goes down, the wind blows here, the wind blows there, the rivers never stop flowing. Basically there is nothing new under the sun – ever.

Solomon’s most famous attribute was his wisdom. But even this he denigrates by saying gaining wisdom is like chasing after the wind. The more wisdom you gain the more sorrow you feel and the more knowledge you have the more grief you experience. When you think about its easy to see how that works. In this day of high speed internet we are connected to the entire world and sometimes all that knowledge just leads to more awareness of what horrors are being experienced in so many parts of the world that we would otherwise be ignorant of.

Hang in there as we navigate this for a few days. There is a wonderful lesson to be learned about our life at the end of Ecclesiastes.

Key Verse:
“What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” ~ Ecclesiastes 1:9

Questions to ponder:

  • Does the sameness of life sometimes get you down? How do you cope?
  • Can you see a bright side to the fact that there is a rhythm and consistency to our world? How does that affect you?
  • Do you think wisdom can lead to sorrow (vs 18)?
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