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Reading Ecclesiastes

“A godly man prefers grace before goods, and wisdom before the world.” 

–Richard Bernard

     What is Ecclesiastes? It is a book in the Old Testament. It is part of the Old Testament’s Wisdom Literature. What is Ecclesiastes? It is the fruit of a promise that God made to Solomon. The promise is found in 1 Kings 3:

At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”
Solomon answered, “You have shown great kindness to your servant, my father David, because he was faithful to you and righteous and upright in heart. You have continued this great kindness to him and have given him a son to sit on his throne this very day.
“Now, Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?”
10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. 11 So God said to him, “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, 12 I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. 13 Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both wealth and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. 14 And if you walk in obedience to me and keep my decrees and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life.” 15 Then Solomon awoke—and he realized it had been a dream. (1 Kings 3:5-15, emphasis mine)

Ecclesiastes is the record of the process that God used in giving Solomon a wise and discerning heart. Ecclesiastes pulls back the curtain to reveal the quest that captivated the life of Solomon. And what a glorious quest it was! The wise men in the court of king Hezekiah understood that Solomon’s task was a glorious one, “These are more proverbs of Solomon, compiled by the men of Hezekiah king of Judah: It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.” (Proverbs 25:1-2) Solomon searches out a matter throughout the book of Ecclesiastes. Can you tell me what he is searching out? Can you tell me what his final recommendations are? Please pray for me and for The Road as begin a short exploration of the book of Ecclesiastes. See you Sunday. D. V.

Love in Christ,
Pastor Dale