Tag: solomon (Page 1 of 2)

Why Am I Here (On Earth)? The Vanity of Entertainment and, perhaps, Sexual Pleasure (Eccl. 2:8b)

8b I acquired male and female singers, the delights of the sons of men, and musical instruments of all kinds. (Eccl. 2:8b)

Entertainment didn’t cut it for Solomon either. While typically reserved for feasts and banquets, he had for himself male and female singers. If you’re impressed with iTunes or Spotify, imagine what it would be like if you could have live performances at your disposal whenever you wanted. Before you marvel too long at Solomon’s entertainment options, you’d do well to consider how he might have marveled if he knew what would be available to the average Westerner in the 21st century. Who could have imagined screens of all different sizes providing seemingly instant access to music, movies, news, and just about any piece of information one could want? You probably don’t need either Solomon or I to tell you – trying to find fulfillment in the transient distraction of entertainment is vanity (cf. Eccl. 2:11). Sure, Nabal’s feast was festive (1 Sam. 25:36) until his heart died within him and he became like a stone (vs.37). Sure, Herodias’ illicit dancing pleased Herod (Mt. 14:6); in fact, Herod even found John’s preaching entertaining (cf. Mk. 6:20); and this man was so addicted to amusement that when he had the Son of God in front of him he didn’t worship Him; rather, he wanted a miracle to be done by Him (Lk. 23:8).

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Why Am I Here (On Earth)? The Vanity of Accrued Wealth

If you asked yourself, ‘What are some of the things that people try to find joy and fulfillment in?’, provided you live in a somewhat developed part of the world, at some point you’d probably include in your list – things. Stuff. Possessions. Money. Gold. Shoes. Old Baseball cards. And so on. Despite Jesus’ instruction that life does not consist in the abundance of one’s possessions (Lk. 12:15), it’s not uncommon to find those who live like it does. Jesus’ words, you could say, are corroborated by Solomon’s experience. He was a man who had just about everything he wanted to have, and found that everything wasn’t enough.

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Why Am I Here (On Earth)? The Vanity of Building Your Own Estate

Solomon’s pursuit of pleasure did not cease with his failed experiments in the areas of partying, laughing, and drinking (Eccl. 2:1-3). He pressed on. Not to an OT equivalent of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Phil. 3:14); but, in continued attempts to find meaning and fulfillment, he surveyed the sensations that accompanied success in the hopes of finding fulfillment therein. Next up, building and real-estate beautification.

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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? (The Answer) An Introduction

There Must Be More Than This

Some years back 60 Minutes did a piece on Tom Brady, the Super Bowl winning quarterback of the New England Patriots, entitled “Tom Brady: The Winner.” The idea of the segment was that he would discuss both his career as well as other aspects of his life. At one point during the interview, the CBS News correspondent prefaced a portion of his forthcoming video interview by saying,

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