Read 149.) Ecclesiastes chapters 4, 5 and 6. I have been contending that God wanted to save the world in a centripetal fashion, by means of His covenant with Israel. They would be His people, do as He had commanded, and He would so incredibly bless Israel with health, wealth, victory and peace; that all the world would see the tangible proof of God’s existence, and come to Israel in the pursuit of God. It’s all right there in the Books of Moses. You cannot read Deuteronomy and not come away without this understanding. In the days of David, Israel became truly great, and under Solomon, the greatness of Israel, and Israel’s God, had come to that place where the first of those gentile seekers came. This was the record of I Kings 10, and the coming of the Queen of Sheba. The very next thing we read about is how that Solomon then came to believe that this was somehow, all about him; and he began to immediately break all the commands God had given Moses concerning Israel’s future kings, as found in Deuteronomy 17. He amassed vast quantities of gold, horses from Egypt, and foreign wives by the hundreds! Everything commences to run downhill after this. It is, after all, since Judges chapter 2, the time stage or phase of Israel’s prophesied history of their unfaithfulness to the Lord, as told to Moses in Deuteronomy 31.
This book of Ecclesiastes, written towards the end of Solomon’s life, is a lament and a confession. Do not do as I have done! Do not become what I became! He came to a place of despair, and a sense of meaninglessness, through his own disobedience to God; the God who had appeared to him twice, and had spoken to him a third time, in I Kings 11, after his grievous failure.
Chapter 4, verse 13, may well be best applied to Solomon, himself. Then, 5:1 thru 7, and 18 thru 20, offer some insight; but precious little, as one can derive so much more… if he were to engage in the very pursuit of God and His face; with a desire to know Him, as David, his father, had done. Chapter 7 closes in this vein of meaninglessness, and hopelessness. But, it need not! First, we can know the meaning of life. Read Acts 17:27+28, and John 17:3 for it. Second, we can know what comes after this life! These were known in Solomon’s day, and can be readily seen in the books of Moses, and the Psalms. It’s what the Book is all about!
Harold F Crowell