Biblical Commentary        
making sense out of life
Life is complicated. It. At times, doesn't seem to mate much sense. It seems chaotic,
disordered, confusing. Is there any purpose to all of this? Whatever is tried, it doesn't quite do
the job of fulfilling the whole being, whether seeking pleasure, knowledge, power, etc.

That is what Ecclessiastes is all about. Making sense out of life. Solomon. Ecclessiastes. the
Preacher, seeks fulfillment in life through natural means, through what man can do and
accomplish. In riches, in power, in knowledge, in pleasure. He was able, as none other to
seek fulfillment in these areas. Yet. he found them wanting. "Vanity of vanities, all is vanity."
Vanity, as Solomon used it, is emptiness and void, a vacuum. As king, the absolute power he
wielded was only an empty shell, it brought no fulfillment in and of itself. The gold and silver of
which Solomon built his house, as well as the accumulated wealth of the kingdom which he
reigned, was a cold taskmaster which brought no warmth to hi life. The knowledge which
Solomon possessed, a knowledge beyond all others in his day. did not bring purpose, mean
and fulfillment to his life. The knowledge echoed hollow. With seven hundred wives and three
hundred concubines, Solomon had the ability to seek pleasure with wine, women and song
as few others ever have. Still, these momentary pleasures were but pinatas without any candy,
an empty paper shell. All that life had to provide, did not provide advantage in death or in facing
the uncertainties of life. Only faith in God, and service to him was there any advantage in death
and in facing the uncertainties which life invariably provides for each and ever one of us. This
is what makes sense out of life. This is what gives life meaning. This is what gives purpose to
life. "Fear God, and keep his commandments."

Ecclessiastes is basically a soliloquy. a rambling speech by Solomon as he seeks meaning
and purpose in the events of life as they unfold before him. To understand Ecclessiastes it is
important to take the book as a whole. Solomon seeks to find meaning and purpose through
natural means, and voices the acceptance of these positions, only to deny their reality in the
end. He, in essence, plays the Devil's advocate at times to show the folly of the position. If the
entire context of the book is not understood, and taken into account. Solomon can be mistaken
to be advocating that which he does not. This means Eccelessiastes can be difficult to follow,
and to understand in certain sections. However, if the end result is remembered — "Fear God
and keep his commandments" — it is possible to keep everything in perspective.