…from glory to glory

Examining Ecclesiastes-All Is Vanity…

“Is there anything of which it may be said, ‘See, this is new’? It has already been in ancient times before us. There is no remembrance of former things, nor will there be any remembrance of things that are to come by those who will come after.”   –Ecclesiastes 1.10-11


Examining Ecclesiastes could be depressing, mostly because it reminds the reader of a very great king who was gifted beyond all that I  could ever comprehend, and this king discovered how he lost his memory of the purpose for all the gifting in his life. Ecclesiastes is also very convicting, and I think many of us are scared to read it because the same king who stumbled over his own gifting recognized his “self” was just like all men:

“Truly, this only I have found: that God made man upright, but they have sought out many schemes.”

–Ecclesiastes 7.29.

Here, Ecclesiastes looks back and remembers Genesis 3.6-7 (In my Bible, Ecclesiastes 7.29 is cross referenced to Genesis 3.6-7. Verse 7.29 jumped off the page at me before I even saw the cross reference…)

King Solomon’s blog begins with his observation of the order and rhythm of creation. In Ecclesiastes 1, he writes almost as if he is amazed to observe how the sun rises and sets in its course all the livelong day; the wind has its established patterns; the rivers all run their courses from their source to the seas; the seas are never full and the rivers are all replenished by the rains from the clouds as by established purpose. These elements and others in creation do not hunger for anything new or exotic; creation is content to follow the plan laid out for it, each in its ordained element. Creation never wants for purpose; never seeks to run a different course or entertain itself with a new experience or a new work; creation never worries about satisfying any appetite, whether it be for more wind, more water, more sun, more earth, or whether it be more prodigious in achievement to prove its value or compete with all the other elements. Everything in creation–EXCEPT FOR MAN–obeys God’s purpose for it and is satisfied to do so. The wind blows; the seas stop where God commands them to stay; dirt always becomes mud when the rain falls upon it; molecules always bond according to their atomic structure; (and if the elements did not obey the physical laws ordained by God–indeed, if there is even one stray molecule in the universe–be very afraid when you drink that brew you routinely expect to be coffee…)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

When Solomon remembers man’s activity, he sees that man–like a stray molecule–seeks out many schemes, always hungry for a new experience, a new thrill, not content for very long with an established path. Because man has chosen to reject the purpose for which God has created him, he now always feels deprivation; and unlike the rest of creation, he seeks to satisfy and fill all the emptiness he feels as a result of his own rejection of the God who alone designed him as a vessel to be filled by God’s purpose…

Solomon does not stay stuck in the mire of his disillusionment; his blog in Ecclesiastes also looks forward. But I’m saving that for another post, since I need to ruminate and meditate a bit on the weight of glory I am finding in Solomon’s holy blog…

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