Focus: Ecclesiastes 10-12
Yesterday, I shared my thoughts about the Book of Ecclesiastes - All is meaningless! The fact that this book, almost in its entirety, is an illustration about the futility of human wisdom through experiential knowledge APART from God or faith is proven by these words at the end of the book in chapter 12. "Here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments for this is the whole duty of man" (12:11). Wow! What a shift in displayed or explicit perspective! The truth of the matter is that many believe in God but live their lives with this human wisdom perspective. We have a tendency to rely on ourselves, especially in the United States, where we pride ourselves on self reliance, opportunity, hard work, and good fortune. Just as this perspective has made us a great nation, it dulled the spirits and spiritual perspective of the Greek philosophers who came before us, it will dull our focus on a reliance "on" and duty "to" God, first, unless we change course! History teaches us that the Greek nation state was one of the most powerful and influential empires of all time. In fact before English was the world language, Greek was the world language during the times of Christ's first advent! They were awed by the world and were known for their understanding of wisdom about the experiential existence of humanity. This great empire finally fell out of favor in the world, in part, due to their focus on success and reliance on gods that had no actual power and their pride in their "own" abilities. They rose to greatness, but then they fell just as hard. The US was organized in part by a group of people seeking religious freedom. God was our focus and we grew great and are still great, with a couple of exceptions! The lessons of history are clear. When Satan lulls us into a false sense of self reliance and security and we begin to focus more on ourselves and "stuff" than on God and our neighbors, our fate will be the same! This is why I believe the Lord allowed us to have this "strange" book as part of His canon of scripture. God truly must be our focus for only in Him is life meaningful! Ecclesiastes is part of the collection of wisdom literature that is included in the Bible. This knowledge changes our whole perspective about the real message of these 12 chapters - NOT human wisdom, but God's Wisdom! Amen.