Ecclesiastes Highlights

If you ever have your priorities in life out of order, Ecclesiastes is the book to read.  Solomon wrote this book toward the end of his life, and as the wisest man, he had lots to say about what he had learned over the course of his life.  King Solomon had everything--wisdom, money, power, honor, and God's favor, but he talked about the emptiness of all this world has to offer.

Our pastor, Bro. Jerry, has encouraged our congregation to read the book Radical by David Platt:  Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream.  It is a painfully convicting book to read, but it is a timely word for this generation.  I highly recommend this read for everyone to read, even though it is uncomfortable!! 
I mention this book to read because it goes right along with Ecclesiastes Chapter 2.  Solomon searched for fulfillment through many things such as wine, building houses, planting vineyards, making gardens and parks for himself, planting all kinds of fruit trees, ponds, buying male and female slaves and homeborn slaves, possessing flocks and herds larger than all who had proceeded him in Jerusalem, collecting silver and gold, providing for himself make and female singers, and many concubines (700 wives and 300 concubines--I can't wrap my mind around this one!)  After the pursuit in everything worldly, he realized that all the labor which he had exerted was all vanity and striving after the wind.  This is much like our pursuit of the American Dream.  We work and strive for all the "things" of this world for happiness, and it ends up being all in vain. 

Chapter 3:1-8 is probably the most well-known passage in the book, especially if you have ever attended a funeral.
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

This week we had a conversation about this very thing.  For example, when did this ever look good?? 


everything has a time.  (This one is questionable, though.)

This is the time, however, that I found my best friend.  Who can put a price on the value of a good friend?? 
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says "two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor.  For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion, but woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up."
I loved chapter 7!  It was full of practical wisdom for everyday life.  "The end of the matter is better than its beginning" (7:8) talks about finishing what you start.  This is a great motivation not to quit on something when it gets difficult.  

I also loved verse 14, "in the day of prosperity be happy, but in the day of adversity consider-God has made the one as well as the other so that man will not discover anything that will be after him."  God allows both good times and bad times to come to everyone in order for us not to be lacking in anything.  I used to get really annoyed when Landon took phone calls for work because it would be a constant interruption.  Once we hit a recession and phone calls were rare, (which meant no money) my view changed.  Now I don't get annoyed at all, I am truly thankful:)  God gives and takes away, and it definitely made me appreciate business more. 

Chapters 9-12 were much like the book of Proverbs, which Solomon also wrote, comparing and contrasting wisdom and folly.  Our society honors wealth, attractiveness, and success above wisdom, yet the bible teaches wisdom is better than strength and weapons of war (9:15, 18).  "The words of the wise heard in quietness are better than the shouting of a ruler among fools" (9:17).  Also, "the words of wise men are like goads, and masters of these collections are like well-driven nails; they are given by one Shepherd"  (12:11).   Words of a wise man are compared to a goad, which is a pointed rod that spurs along animals, and the well-driven nails means they are well grounded and not easily swayed.   Wisdom is the ability to see life from God's perspective and then to know the best course of action to take.  Wisdom alone doesn't make one wise, however.  We must follow through with obedience applying the wisdom with action in order to make us truly wise.

"Dead flies make a perfumer's oil stink, so a little foolishness is weightier than wisdom and honor" (10:1)
I heard a sermon on this passage by Johnny Hunt this summer. 
I always love to hear him preach, and I thought this message was applicable to our lives today.  Here is the link to this message.  I wish it was free, but it is definitely worth the $6.  Dead Flies Give Perfume a Bad Smell

"A wise man's heart directs him toward the right, but the foolish man's heart directs him toward the left"
(10:2).  I thought the next verse as well as verse 15 were a bit humorous about a fool..."even when the fool walks along the road, his sense is lacking and he demonstrates to everyone that he is a fool...the toil of a fool so wearies him that he does not even know how to go to a city." 

Death is the ultimate equalizer of all people, the wise and the foolish. It is inevitable to all and at that time, we can no longer go back and change the way we have lived on earth.  This is the time we will answer for our actions and be judged accordingly.  I love this quote about how we should live each day:

We should live as though
Christ died yesterday,
rose from the grave today,
and is coming back tomorrow.

Chapter 12 is sobering about what happens in the twilight years of life.  He makes comparisons to trembling hands, stooping, teeth falling out, poor eyesight, hearing difficulties, trouble sleeping, weak voice, gray hair, slowing down, and diminishing sexual desire.  I guess this is why there is a frantic pursuit to stay young. 

At the end of his life, Solomon said, "Vanity of vanities, all is vanity" (12:8).  Life without God is all in vain.  Also, anything that we put our effort into that is not of God is in vain.  Solomon says in his conclusion to "fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person.  For God will bring every act to judgement, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil" (12:13-14).


  1. This is a good one! So sweet! There is no price I could ever put a price on our friendship! Oh, and I'm about to read Radical!

  2. A time for the photos you posted were the time for them because they are precious in God' sight... and we are here in a time for kingdom work service. I love you my precious child.

  3. Thank you for taking the time to write these highlights!! I so enjoy reading them! Josh and I read Radical last Fall and it was GREAT!!! Thanks Terri!