Ecclesiastes

Although I have heard many of the verses from The Book of Ecclesiastes over the years, I don’t believe I ever read it in its entirety until last night. My curiosity was piqued by a mention of the book on an internet forum, so I read all twelve chapters before going to sleep. I was so astounded that I literally kissed the pages before closing the Bible.

Author Thomas Wolfe described it this way: “[O]f all I have ever seen or learned, that book seems to me the noblest, the wisest, and the most powerful expression of man’s life upon this earth — and also the highest flower of poetry, eloquence, and truth. I am not given to dogmatic judgments in the matter of literary creation, but if I had to make one I could say that Ecclesiastes is the greatest single piece of writing I have ever known, and the wisdom expressed in it the most lasting and profound.”

I liked the repetitive descriptions of life as “meaningless” and “chasing after the wind,” and several of the verses struck me as particularly wise.

Ecclesiastes 1:9-11 – What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which one can say, “Look! This is something new”? It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time. There is no remembrance of men of old, and even those who are yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 – There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven: 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, 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.

Ecclesiastes 7:20 – There is not a righteous man on earth who does what is right and never sins.

Ecclesiastes 9:5-6 – For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; they have no further reward, and even the memory of them is forgotten. Their love, their hate and their jealousy have long since vanished; never again will they have a part in anything that happens under the sun.

Spring 2012

Our lawn has come alive over the past few days due to plenty of rain and unseasonably warm temperatures. I finally lugged the camera out of its case this afternoon and snapped some photos. A rain storm had just passed through and it felt like heaven outside. I walked around simultaneously snapping photos and thanking Jesus for the beauty around me.

Under the sun

I looked and saw all the oppression that was taking place under the sun; I saw the tears of the oppressed–and they have no comforter; power was on the side of their oppressor–and they have no comforter. And I declared that the dead, who had already died, are happier than the living, who are still alive. But better than both is he who has not yet been, who has not seen the evil that is done under the sun.

King Solomon (Ecclesiastes 4:1-3 NIV)

In like a lion

March has already proven itself to be a very nasty month weather-wise in my neck of the woods. We have been in the storm shelter twice over the past three days due to tornado warnings, but thankfully we haven’t seen any damage aside from some broken branches. Others in our county and surrounding communities haven’t been so lucky.

I posted about my fear of tornadoes a few years ago, and I remember calling it “irrational.” I’m not sure I would still call it so, considering how many people have died over the past few days. I hope and pray we don’t see a repeat of last year’s horrifying loss of life and property.