Category: Why Am I Here? (Page 3 of 3)

Why Am I Here (On Earth)? The Vanity (or Value) of Work

As we continue to prepare the way for the answer to the question, “Why am I here (on earth)?” we come to Solomon’s first case study to deconstruct supposed self-satisfiers. He begins with the subject of work, briefly introducing the subject at the beginning of the book and then developing it further in chapter two. In the third verse of the book he wrote,

What profit has a man from all his labor
In which he toils under the sun? (Eccl. 1:3)

He used a financial term (“profit”) as though he was doing a kind of cost-benefit analysis. What’s the ‘bottom line’ from all of man’s labor? He gets around to the conclusion shortly after asking that question and the review he gave wasn’t exactly glowing, though it did start off promising.

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Why Am I Here (On Earth)? Is Everything Meaningless?

A Little More Table-Setting – Authorship

The writer of Ecclesiastes identified himself as “the Preacher, the Son of David, king in Jerusalem” (1:1). You can see why most people throughout church history have seen the author to be none other than Solomon. He was the only son of David who was king in Jerusalem. There are those who, because Solomon is not specifically self-identified, and because some statements within the book, along with the style of Hebrews in which the book is written, could, on the surface, point in a direction other than Solomon, contend that he was not the author. But with that being said, I would argue that the arguments against his authorship have good rebuttals, and that the internal evidence points to the authorship of Solomon – i.e. being David’s son (Eccl. 1:1b), “king in Jerusalem” (1:1c), “king over Israel in Jerusalem” (vs.12), and the description as one who “taught the people knowledge…and set in order many proverbs” (12:9b). So going forward I will refer to the writer of Ecclesiastes as either that – the writer of Ecclesiastes, or Qoheleth – the Hebrew word translated “the preacher” (Eccl. 1:1), or, of course, Solomon.

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Why Am I Here (On Earth)? An Introduction

It’s a good question; one that you’ve probably asked at some point – why am I here (on earth)? Perhaps in some cases that question has gnawed at the heels of your mind like a dog that relentlessly pursues biting the bottom of your pant leg and you’ve been just as relentless in shaking it off. Or perhaps you’ve settled on an answer but have not scrutinized your position. You say, “I am here on earth to fulfill my purpose” – but you don’t know who defines what that purpose is, and you don’t know how the definer defines that purpose. So you step up to the plate and define your purpose and you come to find that it’s as fickle as the fads you embrace, not really grounded in absolutes but driven by what makes you happy. So in the final analysis, after some scrutiny, you come to find that you’re actually a hedonist. Who knew? 

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