What's the Point? (A Study in Ecclesiastes: Part 2)



The Hebrew words used in Ecclesiastes 4:5-6 reveal profound imagery. Q has wrestled with the hevel of work and toil. And he’s pausing to reflect-

The fool folds his yad. The image is of a person folding their arms. They are done with work. They prefer to be lazy. The consequences will be that they will always be hungry.

Two chopen full of toil. This image is of grabbing fistfuls. These types of people are workaholics. This is highly valued in the American culture. Yet, Q has demonstrated that it is a striving after wind.

Better is a kaf of quietness. This handful is the image of an open palm. Just one hand, though. The other is down. So, one hand is at work and the other at rest. Not grasping and not lazy. This worker knows when to work and when to rest.

Life “under the sun” is no picnic. So, what does it mean to both work and rest? Q doesn’t go that far. He doesn’t explain how that works. He simply exposes the problems of lazy living and workaholic striving. In his view, “under the sun,” he cannot solve the problem.

Ask Yourself: Which of the images best describes your relationship with work? Which describes the family you grew up in? Your spouse or a good friend?

Pause to Pray: Lord, teach me how to work hard and rest…

Take the Next Step: Look at your schedule this week. How will you work hard at your job, home, etc.? Where do you see opportunities to rest?