I was told to read Ecclesiastics by one of my sisters. From the very first chapter I was surprised. I usually like to take the verses which tickles me the most to post here as my Bible Motivations but Ecclesiastics…. I thought I would just have a page and place my thoughts and fave quotes on here as I go along because I simply don’t know what to choose from it when the entire thing just had me going…. It is most certainly a book that is relatable .I have had many similar thoughts to those he mentions and I definitely always wonder if all this work we do in life is going to mean anything. To have such a bitter truth told to you from the bible is always interesting to swallow but I can’t help but feel so near to this person or messenger as he keeps saying these things that almost everyone has once thought. It feels so far, as if he is writing in his journal and speaking on anything he has observed that day , spilling out his thoughts and emotions on his observations.
I was hoping to find who wrote this book in the bible but quickly realized how controversial a question this was. So I am content with just thinking of him as a wise person writing in their journal. This Introduction to Ecclesiastics gives some ideas of who might be the author from different perspectives and also a small summary of the structure of the book.
- We all have our own personal spiritual journeys. I am not a preacher or a teacher. Heck I can’t remember the last time I went to church.It has been years upon years I have been trying to build my spiritual discipline. As part of my self journey to end stagnant living both spiritually and physically, I simply hope that this and my other choices will lead me onto the right path. I also read and article once that the majority of people lose their faith in their twenties. I do not want to be one of those people.
In every chapter was a few things that definitely made me stop to think. I can’t put everything but these are some things I thought wow, pause and ponder.
3 What do people gain from all their labors
at which they toil under the sun?
I’ve never expected someone from the bible to experience these kinds of thoughts that are so common to us or at least to me. I always wished that Jesus had written a personal journal of his feelings and this is what ecclesiastics is like except it is not Jesus’s journal. even though nothing we do will ever come up with us I still get the feeling that it can’t be as meaningless as he thinks, but I can definitely understand the thought.
3 I tried cheering myself with wine, and embracing folly—my mind still guiding me with wisdom. I wanted to see what was good for people to do under the heavens during the few days of their lives.
4 I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards. 5 I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. 6 I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees. 7 I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me. 8 I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired male and female singers, and a harem[a] as well—the delights of a man’s heart. 9 I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me.
10 I denied myself nothing my eyes desired;
I refused my heart no pleasure.
My heart took delight in all my labor,
and this was the reward for all my toil.
11 Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done
and what I had toiled to achieve,
everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind;
nothing was gained under the sun.
I kind of love how he experimented with a different way of life and ultimately came to the same decision.
17 So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. 18 I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me. 19 And who knows whether that person will be wise or foolish? Yet they will have control over all the fruit of my toil into which I have poured my effort and skill under the sun. This too is meaningless. 20 So my heart began to despair over all my toilsome labor under the sun. 21 For a person may labor with wisdom, knowledge and skill, and then they must leave all they own to another who has not toiled for it. This too is meaningless and a great misfortune. 22 What do people get for all the toil and anxious striving with which they labor under the sun?
Can this guy be more real? This must be happening for almost everyone in this world which makes this all the more relatable. All the work that my parents have put in only for their children to be divided among st themselves and let that work go to nothing. Same for my father’s father and who knows how far up the generations.
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
22 So I saw that there is nothing better for a person than to enjoy their work, because that is their lot. For who can bring them to see what will happen after them?
4 And I saw that all toil and all achievement spring from one person’s envy of another. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
4 When you make a vow to God, do not delay to fulfill it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. 5 It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it.
10 Whoever loves money never has enough;
whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income.
This too is meaningless.
Did I love wealth when I had that low paying job and all of a sudden kept saying how it was not enough money? Is it that easy to fall into it. I keep thinking that I am not in love with wealth and such but I am so wrong.
18 This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them—for this is their lot. 19 Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God. 20 They seldom reflect on the days of their life, because God keeps them occupied with gladness of heart.
4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning,
but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure.
I know this might mean lots of things but I was reminded that you gain more wisdom from struggles and moments of mourning than you do when things are pleasant.
16 Do not be overrighteous,
neither be overwise—
why destroy yourself?
17 Do not be overwicked,
and do not be a fool—
why die before your time?
18 It is good to grasp the one
and not let go of the other.
Whoever fears God will avoid all extremes.
IKR! I love how this one reminds me of the importance of balance in everything. It gave me the thought of an annoying person I met that I thought to be Over-righteous. I have no right to judge on my own but.. I knew it was a thing.
10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.
This guy just said it was all meaningless but yes I agree and I am glad he thought this too. Death is one of the greatest motivations yet.
4 If a ruler’s anger rises against you,
do not leave your post;
calmness can lay great offenses to rest.
18 Through laziness, the rafters sag;
because of idle hands, the house leaks.
There’s no better advice than bible advice.
4 Whoever watches the wind will not plant;
whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.
6 Sow your seed in the morning,
and at evening let your hands not be idle,
for you do not know which will succeed,
whether this or that,
or whether both will do equally well.
9 You who are young, be happy while you are young,
and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth.
Follow the ways of your heart
and whatever your eyes see,
but know that for all these things
God will bring you into judgment.
10 So then, banish anxiety from your heart
and cast off the troubles of your body,
for youth and vigor are meaningless.
It’s hard to find my favorite thing here in chapter 11. I was just like YAASSSS
1 Remember your Creator
in the days of your youth,
before the days of trouble come
and the years approach when you will say,
“I find no pleasure in them”—
Although he says all this poetically the more he goes on to say, I know he means really to serve God before you die because when you die you can do nothing.
13 Now all has been heard;
here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
for this is the duty of all mankind.
14 For God will bring every deed into judgment,
including every hidden thing,
whether it is good or evil.
I hope some of these Bible Verses tickles someone else too. We will all have different feelings and reactions to them but I did enjoy reading this book and especially in the NIV version. It left me with so many thought and feeling and multiple areas to reflect on my life.
Even though he thinks that many things are meaningless I just got a thought that no it is not because by our works they will no us right? God will use what we have done to judge us even though we decide to do nothing at all.
** update thought after posting.
I suppose this wisest man is just saying that yes life is meaningless but do things anyway. In the end the most important thing you can ever do is to serve God.
Gosh … I do love when what I read makes me think so hard. Also have you tried YouVersion Bible pp? They have an audio bible on there! I like how the man reads too.
Hope you enjoyed.