When I was young my favorite movie star was Doris Day and one of her most beloved recordings was Que Sera, Sera: whatever will be will be. That’s the attitude of King Solomon in the book Ecclesiastes, however, in a negative sense. As he reflected on his life he wrote from his heart but his heart had turned cold toward God. He had begun strong, unfortunately he finished weak.
Where do you see heaven connecting with earth in his story? God had visited Solomon twice explaining the plan (1 Kings 9): if you walk like your father David…then I will establish your throne forever. How did David walk before God? With integrity of heart and uprightness. Solomon was given the privilege of connecting heaven earth by building the Temple for God’s Presence. The people were given a foretaste of the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven. However, the second part of God’s declaration was that if he didn’t stay close to God then He would cut off Israel from the land (captivity) and His Presence would depart.
Solomon writes from his heart in Ecc. 2 (he used the phrase ‘my heart’ 14 times in three chapters) that he’s experienced life God’s way and his own way and concluded that it doesn’t matter: whatever will be, will be. His wisdom, wealth, and influence in the world brought him no peace for he abandoned his intimacy with God. How is that possible? He had allowed the blessings of God to draw him away from relationship with his Creator. 2 Sam. 12:24 tells us that the Lord loved Solomon and 1 Kings 3:3 says that Solomon loved the Lord: what happened? He allowed worldly influences to infect his life with the disease of self. Life became all about him. He had forgotten his prayer recorded in 2 Chron. 6:12-42 where he recognized the power of relationship with God. “… heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain You … yet you listen to the cry and prayer … you forgive.” God opened the heavens for Solomon to experience the Kingdom of God on earth but also tells him that there are consequences to disobedience without repentance: He’ll promptly shut the heavens.
Today we face the same worldly temptations but fortunately have more power than Solomon; we have the indwelling Holy Spirit to help us maintain our relationship with Jesus Christ. Even though God connected heaven and earth temporarily through the Temple in a magnificent way we have something better: the permanence of Immanuel, God with us; we have His Spirit residing in us.
Jesus instructed us to pray “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” and one way to experience heaven on earth is through repentance and forgiveness. King Solomon wrote one provocative verse in Ecc. 3:11 ‘eternity is in our hearts’ so we have a natural desire to know Him.