Ecclesiastes 6 Commentary

Ecclesiastes 6 Commentary

In your youth, the digestion system is tops. The appetite is greatest. But there is no food. The moment you can buy your own food and can choose when to eat it, the doctor shows up with countless restrictions. Your teeth begin to fall off and your appetite begins to fail.

Those with the gift of enjoying life don’t have the goods. Those with the goods don’t have the gift of enjoying their success.

You cannot win. The author calls it punishment – the LORD God deliberately subjecting creation to frustration, anger, and conflict in the hope that creation begins to see the need for the Messiah.

Does it make any difference, being wise or foolish? The fate is the same: the grave.

Like in the other sections of this book, wisdom here is referring to human cleverness. It will get you a good job and possibly increase your chances of advancement. But what is that for? We all share the same destiny, wise or foolish. The grave awaits both. Isn’t the stillborn better off since it doesn’t have to undergo this trouble?

Ecclesiastes peaches the gospel in a very deep but direct way. The life we know is useless. It is a chase after the wind. Meaningless. This volume exposes all pretensions and underlines the importance of seeking the life-giver. There should be more to life. It is the thought that constantly provokes the reader to reflect.

In view of all these conflicts and smoke, who knows how to live? Who knows what is good for anyone? Who is wise enough to decode the meaning of life?

The author gives us an important hint. Enjoy your food. In the context of the Old Testament, even within this very book, this is mission impossible. He won’t allow you to enjoy it. However, there is bread on the table – the bread of life. Is this chapter anticipating the feast of the LORD Jesus Christ?

There is a meal that the LORD actually allows you to enjoy. You can have both: possess it and enjoy it. It is the bread of life. Actually, the Bread of life.

The reference to the brevity of our days is a strong statement that caps off human lamentations in this book. Miserable and short are the days the LORD has allocated each individual. The same thought is repeated in Psalm 90. All our days pass away under your wrath; we finish our years with a moan.

Ecclesiastes doesn’t want you to have gray areas. Think all the way. Debate the last line. Explore all life spaces. Don’t get scared to say it. Go ahead and say it. Life is meaningless. A chase after the wind. Smoke. Useless. Vanity and futile. Empty and nothingness. Utterly meaningless. An atheist is closer to finding faith than a low-lying, drunken, and ‘thinkless’ head.

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Published by Joseph Malekani

Joseph Malekani is a born-again Christian with a strong PAOG/Baptist background. He is heavily involved in student ministry with ZAFES – an IFES movement with focus on student ministry in Zambia. He is married to Audrey and they have two lovely children.

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