Using 12-point Helvetica font with 1-inch margins on 8.5 x 11” paper, Ecclesiastes measures in at only 6.5 pages. Not too intimidating when you compare it to series like Divergent, The Hunger Games, Harry Potter, and Tolkien’s records of middle earth in The Lord of the Rings.
However, in those six and a half pages, we see an incredibly insightful examination of our world and the human condition.
In Ecclesiastes Solomon reached the pinnacle of luxury and found that it lacked the satisfaction he had hoped he would find. He uses the Hebrew word hebel, which is translated as “vanity” (or “meaningless” or “futility,” depending on your translation), around 38 times. Upon further examination of the word hebel, it is clear that it means more than just vanity. Literally it means “vapor,” and figuratively it means “temporary.”
Later in Ecclesiastes 3, Solomon says that, “[God] has set eternity into the human heart.” It is the contrast between the temporary and the eternal that creates an incredible amount of tension and frustration throughout the book.
Actually, the tension between the temporary and the eternal has created frustration for every human who has ever lived. The song “I Took A Pill in Ibiza” by Mike Posner speaks of this vanity and emptiness:
But you don't wanna be high like me, never really knowing why like me. . . . All I know are sad songs, sad songs. Darling, all I know are sad songs, sad songs. I'm just a singer who already blew his shot. I get along with old timers ‘cause my name’s a reminder of a pop song people forgot.
So what does this have to do with the Gospel? Evil separates us from God. Evil brings death. Evil makes life temporary and keeps us from experiencing eternity with God. The Gospel is the good news that God will restore what has been lost due to the evil in our world and in our hearts.
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