Does it seem like your work never gets done? You clean the kitchen only to see it messed up again in a matter of minutes; you do yardwork only to see weeds grow out of control again in a matter of days; you complete your homework only to have the teacher assign more the next day; you finish all the projects at work only to have your boss give you another one. This list goes on and on, day after day. This is how Solomon ("the preacher") obviously felt when he recorded for us in Ecclesiastes such sayings as "What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun?" (1:3) and "I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun." (2:11) and "I hated all my toil in which I toil under the sun ..." (2:18). Work is hard, frustrating, and wearisome.
This Sunday 23 February we'll look at Solomon's teaching in Ecclesiastes 2:18-26 and hear him continue to express his despair and frustration over the meaningless of work "under the sun." But as you read through the passage you'll notice a very interesting twist in verse 24. It's unexpected and maybe hard to explain given what Solomon has been saying. What is Solomon getting at? Is he schizophrenic? Is he just rambling on not really knowing what he's saying? Is he confused?
I believe this text is crucial in understanding the whole of the Ecclesiastes message. Any believer who hopes to develop a Christian world-view must embrace the truths expressed by "the preacher" in this week's passage as critical and fundamental. Please read the text prior to Sunday and make every effort to come and worship with God's people as we explore the idea of work ... both "below" and "above" the sun.