Faithful on Fridays Blog

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Finding Jesus in Ecclesiastes

Depression. A word that describes unhappiness, hopelessness, and emptiness, the state of many people around the world. 121 million people globally are said to be depressed for various reasons and for various periods of time. Look at some statistics:

• It affects 1 in 10 Americans.
• It increases 20% every year.
• There are many factors that trigger it: medical diagnosis, sleep disorder, lack of education, recent loss, unemployment, obesity, to name a few.
• Ages 45-64 is the most prevalent with more women, twice as likely, than men.

The book of Ecclesiastes is truly the writings of a depressed man. King Solomon, the wisest man on earth, who began His life focused on God slowly slid into this pit of depression. When he was a young man he wrote a love story called the Song of Solomon, when he was older and wiser he penned the Proverbs, however, in his later years Solomon turned away from God and slipped into sexual immorality and idolatry. The result? Depression.

Where can you possibly find Jesus in Ecclesiastes? Think about this. What’s the opposite of hopelessness? Right … hope. Where is the contrast of a life that seems meaningless? Right … a life full of meaning. Where do we get our hope and value? Right again … in Christ.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV)

Solomon’s life is a portrayal, in full color, of a man who began his life in God with great intensity, like his father David, but allowed the enemy, through wealth and physical pleasure, to distract him. Eventually he became guilt-ridden and despondent. What was true for Solomon is also true for us. We can also allow the distractions of the world to draw us away from our new life and fall back into our old ways of sin and rebellion. What’s the answer?

Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. (Ecclesiastes 3:11 NLT)

Your recreated heart that is full of the Holy Spirit and not sin anymore has eternity embedded in it to remind you of His love and forgiveness. Without that kind of heart there is only a future eternal life without Him. That’s not good news. That’s a good reason for emptiness and worthlessness but in Christ we are made new. Our thoughts are different. Our feelings and emotions are different. Consequently, our behavior should be different.

Can there still be depression? Certainly, but we have a sure answer. Repentance comes first, followed by a declared need for God’s help. He is always there for you, He will always listen to you, and He will answer you. You know, the Holy Spirit is called the Helper for a reason. Let Solomon’s life contrast yours this week as you depend on God and God alone. You won’t be disappointed or depressed.

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2 Responses to Finding Jesus in Ecclesiastes

  1. Vance says:

    The book of Ecclesiastes tells us that the writer of the book was wise and that what he wrote was honest and true. Here are some of the wise words he wrote down.

    Eat and drink and find joy in your work.
    Enjoy life with the people you love.
    Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.
    Life is sweet and it is a pleasure to see the light of day.
    Each of your days should be fully enjoyed.
    Be happy while you are young and let your heart give you joy.
    Banish anxiety from your mind and cast off the troubles of your body.

    Whoever wrote Ecclesiastes he was not depressed and he was not a pessimist. There is something deeper in his words and it seems to be unwise to misuse his teachings to make a point that was not part of his teachings.

    Vance –

    • says:

      Even though King Solomon penned some positive words in this book we cannot neglect to remember his decline into sin and idolatry at his older age. As a Christian, and you gave me no indication that you are one, we should be compelled to look at the big picture and see how it weaves into the New Testament. That is my point of this series. Finding Jesus. This preacher/teacher is at a point in life when he sees life as meaningless, hence the phrase ‘vanity of vanities’, in Hebrew it means life without life: meaningless. As a believer in Jesus Christ and filled with his Holy Spirit we can have meaningful life in Him. In 2:17 he says he hates life and in 4:2 he looks at the evil in the world and sees no one to comfort them: to me, that’s depression. Our Comforter is the Holy Spirit. I realize that there is resolution as Solomon points to the Creator at the end but my point was clear, I don’t believe I misused scripture in any way: find Jesus in this book. Those scriptures you pointed out from chapter 9 were taken out of context: he ended verse 10 by saying they were going to Sheol, the Hebrew word for death, grave, and even Hell. Not too comforting, I’d say, clearly disheartened with life.
      He warns of God’s judgment in chapter 11:9 but as a Christian we know our judgment and punishment was suffered by Jesus, once and for all, on the cross.
      Solomon’s words were finished by 12:8, a narrator probably completed the book, and he repeats what said in the beginning: all is vanity or as the NLT version reads: everything is completely meaningless. I hold to the words of my blog but thank you for the comment, it caused me to search the book again,man’s a whole, and find my Savior in the midst of any unhappiness.

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