Bible Reading for JUL21: Ecclesiastes 1-4

JULY 21

The word “Ecclesiastes” comes from the Greek word ekklesia,
which, in the New Testament, is translated “church” or “assembly.”
It carries the idea of a preacher, or debater, speaking to an
assembly of people.

The author of this book was Solomon, who was known not only
for his wisdom, but for his wealth and enjoyment of pleasure. No
king in the Old Testament better fits the situation described in
this book. Its theme, given in chapter 1:1-3, might be expressed,
“Is life really worth living?” Solomon looks at life, with its
seeming contradictions and mysteries, and he wonders if the endless
toil of existence is worth it. A man toils all his life and dies,
and someone less worthy than himself inherits all his wealth and
wastes it. Solomon comes to the conclusion that the best thing is to
enjoy the blessings of God today; fear God, and keep His Word. Of
course, we know, with the added light of the New Testament, that our
labor is not in vain in the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:58).

The key words and phrases in the Book of Ecclesiastes are:
man (used 47 times); labor (used 36 times); under the sun (used 30
times); vanity (used 37 times); wisdom, or wise (used 52 times); and
evil (used 22 times). We must keep in mind that Solomon is reasoning
about what he sees and knows “under the sun.” If we stop in the Book
of Ecclesiastes, we will stay in the shadows. We must move on to the
full revelation of the New Testament to have the whole counsel of
God. Many of the false cults quote isolated verses from the Book of
Ecclesiastes in an effort to prove their strange doctrines when, in
fact, if they would accept the entire revelation of God’s Word, they
would not live in error.

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