Saturday, November 16, 2013

chasing after wind

The Word for today:
Ecclesiastes 3:1-4:8
mark this: Ecclesiastes 1:14 & 4:4 --
I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
Solomon wrote Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon.
We should remember that Solomon wrote his three books over the course of a lifetime. As such, they can be seen as a comprehensive spiritual diary--the ultimate journal.
In Proverbs we see the wisdom of Solomon.
In Song of Solomon we see--in the heart which turns to Christ--that the object is too large for the heart.
In Ecclesiastes we see the foolishness of the same man when he got away from God. Life does not satisfy; the heart is too large for the object:
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
At first glance, Ecclesiastes seems to raise more questions than it answers. The reader is left to wonder--
What's going on around here? What's this book doing in the Bible?
It depicts the emptiness and disappointment of life, lacks any note of praise or peace, and seems to sanction conduct at variance with the rest of Scripture. The difficulties can be resolved only by consideration of the nature and purpose of the book:
(1) Ecclesiastes must be understood as the book of the natural man--the natural man's reasoning apart from the Spirit of God and divine revelation:
But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him: nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:14)
This is the meaning of "under the sun." Used repeatedly (27 times) the phrase reminds us that its conclusions are from a human perspective, exclusive of divine revelation.
(This is also why the covenant name "LORD"--Jehovah--is not used; God is only known as "Elohim," the Creator. Hence the writer is confined to natural revelation (the light which nature gives) and human reason. The clause "I communed with my own heart," occurs seven times.)
(2) The purpose of the book is to demonstrate to the natural man the complete emptiness of things "under the sun" whenever they become disconnected from that which is above the sun--God's revelation and salvation.
The great truth of Ecclesiastes is that life without God in the equation is meaningless and pointless; it's--
a chasing after the wind (NIV);
a striving after wind (ESV);
as senseless as chasing the wind (CEV);
like feeding on wind (CJB);
like grasping for the wind (NKJV);
a vexation of spirit (KJV);
nothing but spitting into the wind (MSG).

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