READ : Read Ecclesiastes 1:1-11
Everything is meaningless. (v. 2, niv)
I’ll soon be sixty. That’s a significant number. I enjoy excellent health, and I appreciate the spirit of fellow boomers who say, “Sixty is the new forty,” but the math doesn’t lie. There’s a lot more life on this earth behind me than in front of me. So it’s natural to become a bit philosophical about the meaning of life and the question of looming death.
That’s why I think the book of Ecclesiastes was written by someone at least my age, probably King Solomon near the end of his reign. He has wisdom to impart, so he calls himself Ecclesiastes, meaning “the Teacher.” He says, “there is nothing new under the sun” (v. 9) because everything we do, however significant or creative, leads inevitably to death. We can no more change that than we can stop the sun from setting or a river from flowing to the sea. So what’s the point? Life is vanity, empty, meaningless.
The Teacher begins with this biting message to get our attention. There is a way to reach hope, but it doesn’t come naturally. It requires special wisdom. This isn’t just for sixty-somethings. Knowing life’s meaning and purpose is critical at every age. Stay with the Teacher to the end of his book and you might learn some very important truths.
Lord, help me find meaning and hope, in life and death. Amen.