Today’s reading is: Ecc. 1:12-6:12
Ecclesiastes Chapter One
(Outline continues from yesterday)
- Chapter One concludes with Solomon’s testimonial concerning his human viewpoint efforts, and where it took him—providing the theme for the remainder of the Book (Eccl. 1:12-18).
- Rather than guarding his heart (Prov. 4:23), Solomon set his heart to the “exploration” by means of philosophy (Eccl. 1:13a).
- Philosophy proves just as ineffective as science, as it grapples with the concept of evil (Eccl. 1:13b), fails to identify any purpose in life (v.14), proves ineffective for human criminal rehabilitation (v.15a), & makes no real provision for the physical needs of man (v.15b).
- Solomon’s efforts to find happiness in life apart from God found no solutions in either secular education (Eccl. 1:16), or psychology (Eccl. 1:17).
Ecclesiastes Chapter Two
- Solomon’s next effort to find meaning in life apart from God was an experiment in hedonism (Eccl. 2:1-11).
- Entertainment cannot replace reality (v.2).
- Chemical stimulation cannot replace reality (v.3).
- The domestic pursuits of architecture (v.4a), viticulture (v.4b), horticulture (v.5), aquaculture (v.6a), & forestry (v.6b) provided no spiritual meaning (vv.4 6).
- The accumulation of wealth provided no happiness (vv.7,8a), and neither did engagement in sexual extravagance (v.8b).
- The only reward hedonism offered was the immediate gratification it provided: the passing pleasures of sin (Eccl. 2:9-11 cf. Heb. 11:25).
- Solomon even considered that wisdom was better than folly in the short-term, but both were equal in the long-term, so why bother with wisdom? (Eccl. 2:12-17).
- Solomon’s conclusion that life was empty produced anger and despair, that his legacy would be left to one who had not labored as he had done (Eccl. 2:18-23).
- After these forays into carnality, Solomon came to appreciate the simplicity of the Christian Way of Life (Eccl. 2:24-26).
- The Christian Way of Life is a simple life of satisfaction with the Lord’s provision (vv.24-25).
- The Lord takes uses the achievements of the wicked to meet the needs of the righteous (v.26; Job 27:16-17; Prov. 13:22).
Ecclesiastes Chapter Three
- Divine viewpoint recognizes the Father’s purpose and timing for every activity in God’s plan (Eccl. 3:1-8).
- Divine viewpoint recognizes that man’s profit is an eternal profit (Eccl. 3:9-11), and such thinking provides for a spiritual walk in time (Eccl. 3:12-15).
- Human viewpoint rejects the eternal judgment, and chooses to view man on a plane with the animals (Eccl. 3:16-22).
Ecclesiastes Chapter Four
- Human viewpoint sees the world as a cruel, violent place (Eccl. 4:1-3).
- Human viewpoint sees the world as a competitive, ambitious place (Eccl. 4:4-6).
- Human viewpoint sees the world as a selfish place (Eccl. 4:7-8).
- Human viewpoint sees cooperation only as a means of mutual self-benefit (Eccl. 4:9-12).
- Human viewpoint sees value in people, only so long as they remain useful (Eccl. 4:13-16).
Ecclesiastes Chapter Five
- Human viewpoint is often quite opinionated when it comes to religion (Eccl. 5:1-7).
- Human viewpoint doesn’t guard the heart (Prov. 4:23)—it guards the steps (Eccl. 5:1).
- “Draw near to listen” and “let your words be few” (Eccl. 5:1-2) have the appearance of wisdom (Jas. 1:19), but are actually a human viewpoint warning against getting too religious.
- Listening is o.k., because you may learn something profitable.
- Sacrificing is foolish because you’re wasting your wealth.
- God is in heaven, and you’re on earth, so don’t worry about it (Eccl. 5:2b).
- Prayers are “answered” as you work hard for your wealth, and frequent prayer is only for the foolish (Eccl. 5:3).
- Since you’re accountable for spoken vows, don’t make any vows, and avoid all accountability (Eccl. 5:4-6).
- Human viewpoint sees organized religion as empty, and personal “spirituality” as the solution (Eccl. 5:7).
- Human viewpoint sees corruption at all levels of human government (Eccl. 5:8), and is willing to tolerate that corruption so long as the nation is advantaged (Eccl. 5:9).
- Solomon’s human viewpoint perspective on riches is then detailed (Eccl. 5:10-20).
Ecclesiastes Chapter Six
- Human viewpoint resents the application of Divine sovereignty for human happiness (Eccl. 6:1-6).
- Happiness in career success (v.2).
- Happiness in family blessings (v.3).
- Happiness in lifespan (v.6).
- Human viewpoint resents the eternal perspective of God (Eccl. 6:7-9).
- Human viewpoint resents God’s eternal Sovereignty (Eccl. 6:10-12).