Today we will read Ecclesiastes 3: 16-22:
16 Moreover, I saw under the sun that, in the place of justice, wickedness was there, and in the place of righteousness, wickedness was there as well. 17 I said to myself, “God will judge the righteous and the wicked, for he has appointed a time for every matter and for every work.” 18 I said to myself with regard to humans that God is testing them to show that they are but animals. 19 For the fate of humans and the fate of animals is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and humans have no advantage over the animals, for all is vanity. 20 All go to one place, all are from the dust, and all turn to dust again. 21 Who knows whether the human spirit goes upward and the spirit of animals goes downward to the earth? 22 So I saw that there is nothing better than that all should enjoy their work, for that is their lot; who can bring them to see what will be after them?
One of my “favorite” philosophers is Søren Kierkegaard. I but favorite in quotes because if you’ve ever read him, you’d know that no one really enjoys reading him. I’ve always liked him because he really does have some pearls of wisdom in his writings. He is what is called an existential philosopher. Let me share with you how Wikipedia defines this type of reasoning, “explores the problem of human existence and centers on the subjective experience of thinking, feeling, and acting. For example, in the view of an existentialist, the individual’s starting point has been called “the existential angst”, a sense of dread, disorientation, confusion, or anxiety in the face of an apparently meaningless or absurd world. Existentialist thinkers frequently explore issues related to the meaning, purpose, and value of human existence.”
Come on, that’s exactly what is happening in this book, it always describes it to a T.
Angst, dread, pondering the meaning of life, that’s all there. That’s what the Teacher is doing, he is trying to figure out the point of all of this. Today, he basically says, work hard, enjoy your work, because who knows what will happen when you die?
I think that some things are in scripture to valid out questions. To give us permission to be angry (Psalm 137) or grieve (Jesus weeping) or like Eccleasiases, to ask the hard questions of life and to ponder the unknowing questions of life. So much of what the Teacher asks and ponders, these are things that are in God’s domain, not mine, not yours.
The Teacher has arrived at the first place, he does have faith. He knows that God will judge. He knows that there is a God who will take all of this into account. He does have that faith. But when you read him, it doesn’t sound like he is quite there in terms of trust. Who knows what will happen? Will the spirit ascend? Will it not? Live today, because who knows the future.
He does have faith in God. But all of life and his experiences have made him a little cynical. Nothing has fulfilled him. So why would true trust in God? Everything has left him empty. Wouldn’t God?
The teacher needs to put God to the test and he will see that God is more than just someone we can have faith in, but He is someone we can trust.
Today, trust is so key for fulfillment. Trust in God, today. He will not let you down today, or ever.
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