Having looked at some of the surprising statements in this book, we can see the way it seems to contradict what is written in other parts of the Bible. For example 7:13, 9:7, 10:19, 9:10. Click on them one by one. Whereas some people make a pilgrimage of gradual enlightenment to reach the truth, it seems as though the Teacher is making the journey in reverse in his life, to arrive at these contradictions.
When we come to try and understand what he is really saying we find that some commentators suggest that this is a set-up job. That he is using irony to show where such a negative approach to life will get you, pretending to be a secular person. Then at the end, he turns it around and presents his real conclusion in 12:13. This is called “Taking people to understand the logical extent of their presuppositions.” (Francis Schaeffer). The problem is that in this book the secular or “meaningless” portions tend to be more convincing than the few religious exhortations that almost look as though they were later additions by scribes who were embarassed to leave it as it was! Or the Teacher’s final last ditch attempt to talk himself into hope. But perhaps the real meaning lies elsewhere. We shall need more time to look into this…
As a postscript today, thinking of our times of worship together, let us always remember that we get out of a service what we put into it. If we come expecting great things, we are ready to receive what the Lord is wanting to teach us. If we expect nothing much, we receive nothing much. So let’s pray for powerful meetings together with the Spirit of the Lord, receiving back from Him what we offer in praise and worship and thanksgiving. To Him be the glory!
Today we pray especially for
Lynn, Billy and Paul
Jason & Corette with Pieter & Zarah