I'm guessing not many people would name Ecclesiastes as their favorite book. Probably because the writer of the book sounds like he's in serious need of some Prozac. Lines like these make his serotonin seem in short supply:
~ "And I declared that the dead, who had already died, are happier than the living, who are still alive." Ecc 4:2
~ "I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind." Ecc 1:14
~ "What do people get for all the toil and anxious striving with which they labor under the sun? All their days their work is grief and pain; even at night their minds do not rest. This too is meaningless." Ecc 2:22-23
~ "Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; humans have no advantage over animals." Ecc 3:19
~ "And I saw that all toil and all achievement spring from one person’s envy of another." Ecc 4:4
~ "For who knows what is good for a person in life, during the few and meaningless days they pass through like a shadow?" Ecc 6:12
Seriously? First time I read it I thought, can somebody please prescribe this guy some Zoloft? Or maybe sit him in front of one of those light therapy boxes? Throughout the whole book he keeps saying everything is vanity; it's meaningless. He says it 38 times in 12 chapters. I hear Zoloft is suppose to help get rid of bothersome thoughts.
Is he just another manic-depressive writer in his depressive phase? Did he suffer insomnia, then run out of coffee before he met the morning's word count and nothing else was in his fridge but he had a strong craving for chocolate cake even though it would go straight to his thighs? Wait, I think I digressed again. Or is there more in this guy's book than meets the eye?
It's like the rest of the Bible is cruising along saying God is good. He can be trusted. He will help those who follow Him. His plans will not fail. Listen to Him. Become wise. Put your trust in Him. He is redeeming His people and eventually the earth. And then the writer of Ecclesiastes comes along and says, "Everything is meaningless and we're better off dead."
Makes you wonder how this book ever made it into the Bible. I mean besides the fact that Ecc. 3:1-8 made for great lyrics for that hit song by The Byrds. The rest of the verses could pretty much be any angst-filled teen anthem of today.
I spent a year focusing on the book of Ecclesiastes, asking God to help me understand it. Was the author a pessimist with a wicked sense of sarcasm? Is there sarcasm in the Bible? Is God sarcastic? Or does this book have some sort of deep meaning that's relevant to you and me today?
Tell me in a comment what you make of Ecclesiastes - or if that's too daunting, what's your favorite book of the Bible - and you'll be entered to win Monday's giveaway of Renee Swope's terrific new book A Confident Heart. This book will help you deal with your doubts and insecurities. I recently read it and it's better than Prozac. Not that I've ever had Prozac; I haven't. Not that I'm saying there's something wrong with prescribed anti-depressants. Wait, I digressed again. Sorry. You were about to say? ...