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Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

King Solomon is popularly known for his wisdom, and is the likely writer of three books of the Bible: Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon.  When looking for wisdom it is to Proverbs we turn.  Ecclesiastes is difficult because so much of it seems to contradict the Bible, while Song of Solomon leaves many of us wondering why it is in the Bible at all, which is probably the reason for so many strange interpretations of what it ‘really’ means over the years.  However there is much we can learn from all three books.

 “I saw all the oppression that are done under the sun.  And behold the tears of the oppressed, and they had no one to comfort them!”  (Taken from Ecclesiastes, chapter 4 and verse 1, ESV).  It is not a happy story, but history and experience shows us that it is true.  The key to this verse, and in fact the entire book is ‘under the sun’.  It is a phrase that is meant to indicate the physical reality of life without God, or at the very lest with minimal intervention from God.  This is before the New Testament.  A world without Jesus is summed up perfectly throughout the book of Ecclesiastes.  So before we get too critical, read again the book of Ecclesiastes, but from the perspective of Jesus not having walked the earth.  It assumes the existence of God, but we have no personal relationship, forgiveness or hope.  The book from that perspective is a masterpiece as it explains life as we find it.  There is no justice, there is hardship, and what can we do?  Enjoy what we can, when we can, and don’t ponder it too much.  And it is hopeful for us to read it for two reasons.  If we really get into that world view, it prepares us perfectly for the arrival of Jesus in the New Testament.  In fact it would be an excellent thing to do prior to Christmas in order to really get to grips with why the birth of Jesus and why His arrival was described as “good news of great joy that will be for all the people” (Luke 2, verse 10).

Solomon, as he describes throughout the book didn’t have a hard life.  In fact he probably had one of the ‘best’ lives of anyone who has ever lived.  He had more wealth, more comforts, probably good health, and all the people and company anyone could wish for.  The book speaks of all the different things he had and experienced.  Yet, it didn’t satisfy.  Having it all left him bored with life.  And he saw how much worse it was for others.  For them it was misery, and for all was without hope.  This is the other reason to read Ecclesiastes.  We read it with Jesus having been and risen, and knowing all we do from the rest of the Bible.  But if you don’t know Jesus, it pretty much sums up life today.  Without a personal relationship with Jesus, life is just like he describes in the book.  But if that is your position today, follow it up by reading the book of John and find hope this Christmas.

“People living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned”. Matthew 4:16 (NIV)

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