If you could go back in time and meet a Bible character (other than Jesus) who would it be? Some obvious great choices might be folks like Noah ... exactly how did he get all those animals on the ark and what did they do about the smell? How about Moses ... who wouldn't want to hear from a burning bush and walk through the Red Sea? Surely Mary ... aren't we all curious what it's like knowing you're pregnant with the promised Messiah, the Son of God? Perhaps Peter ... can you imagine running with him and looking in the empty tomb? But more and more I'm thinking I'd like to go back and meet Solomon and do one thing in particular ... give him a hug! As we like to say, "bless his heart." You have to wonder whether or not he was on anti-depressants or went to a counselor on a regular basis. Anyone today who walks around and continually says, "vanity of vanities ... all is vanity" we would most assuredly be concerned for him.
Yet through God's holy and inspired Word I am getting to know Solomon a bit and I'm learning he's not who I originally thought! I now believe he's a guy who would give me a hug because he would be so concerned about how I'm wasting my life "under the sun" and not viewing all of life in a God-centered manner. Solomon is brutally honest about his own sin, failure to find meaning apart from God, and the frustration of everyday life. I need a friend like him who speaks the truth and who pushes me to both see my sin and to run to Jesus. Solomon is that guy!
This Sunday we will examine Ecclesiastes 11:7 - 12:8 and Solomon again, cries out "vanity of vanities ... all is vanity." But instead of prescribing medication to deal with the pain, Solomon actually calls us to rejoice!!! The challenge will be to figure out HOW we might rejoice as we live in the mist/vapor we call life. Please read this passage in preparation!