Wisdom of Marion Column Vol 1.29 (Ecclesiastes 6:1-12)

6th Study: Ecclesiastes 6:1-12

Chapter 6 could be the most vague and somewhat confusing chapter in our study of Ecclesiastes.  However, I’m beginning to believe it could be the most poignant in the study so far.

I would like to start with Pastor Meyers writing this:

The sin of man is that he ceased to be hungry for God. We have ceased to see our whole lives, everything we consume, as a sacrament of communion with God. The sin of all sins, the truly original sin, is not a transgression of mere rules, but first of all, the deviation of man’s love and desire from their proper object, the Lord God himself. That man prefers something else to God–the world, possessions, children, life, health–this is the real sin. The Lord himself is our highest good. All other goods are only good in relation to Him. Only when we love God are we able to properly use and enjoy the gifts God gives us in the world.  {pp. 135}

We have love everything else but God or we have loved God alone with money, possessions and status in life.  Neither scenario is right and Solomon reiterates that in Chapter 6.

There are two verses that really grasp the overall theme of the chapter.

“If a man fathers a hundred children and lives many years, so that the days of his years are many, but his soul is not satisfied with life’s good things, and he also has no burial, I say that a stillborn child is better off than he.”  {6:3 ESV}

Ouch!  Solomon is harsh but I think he is also poignant as well with that verse.  A Bible Commentary uses this analogy for interpreting Solomon’s meaning in Verse 3:

“Better the fruit that drops from the tree before it is ripe then that left to hang on till rotten.”

Here’s the second verse:

“All the toil of man is for his mouth, yet his appetite is not satisfied.” {6:7 ESV}

Another commentary says this about verse 7:

Men are insatiable in their desires, and restless in their endeavours after more, and never say, they have enough.

What I take from those two verses and the rest of the chapter is that we must pursue contentment. The only way we can pursue contentment is to love God alone and everything else will follow in suit.

Paul writes about contentment in his several of his epistles.  There are a couple of scriptures that are key for me.

“But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.” {1 Timothy 6:8-9 ESV}

“I’m glad in God, far happier than you would ever guess—happy that you’re again showing such strong concern for me. Not that you ever quit praying and thinking about me. You just had no chance to show it. Actually, I don’t have a sense of needing anything personally. I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am”  {Philippians 4:11-13 The Message}

Paul understood the importance of contentment and wrote about it like Solomon has in Ecclesiastes.  Also, we must realize that no amount of money, status for fame or celebrity and how many toys we have can ever replace our longing for God.  His love must come first and when it does…he will add everything we will ever need for comfort to live in this world.

See you next week!   God Bless.

Here are some questions for you think about in regards to this week’s study:

1) Why is so easy to love everything else but God alone? Or to love God with everything else we have? (money, status, possessions)

2) If God allow it: Would you want to live a long life with riches and status and never truly enjoy it?   Or would you want to live a short life without wealth or status but have true contentment and joy?

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