Poetic and poignant, chapter three of Ecclesiastes speaks to the futility, reality, and hope of man’s existence. We are created beings in the midst of cycles and destinies, invisible realms, with principalities and powers unseen by our fleshly eye. With the reference to everything seeming to be a REPEAT, (v.15) I can’t help but suspect this is a reference to the metaphysical mysteries that we will not understand unless or until God reveals more of such to us in Heaven.
Ecclesiastes 3:15 That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.
Then in v.16 there is reference to judgement, but after the comforting v.12 and 13:
12) I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.
13) And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.
Then the author (possibly King Solomon) reminds is of our destiny to dust for the physical, but for the spirit to go up (v.20 and 21) and then encourages in the worldly life once more with verse 22.
I especially appreciate this for those times when I feel pressured that there is so much work to do, and I think I am never going to measure up to some invisible self imposed to-do list. Working for self, and family, and the Lord first, certainly has it’s place and time, but so does rejoicing, and enjoying the fruits!
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Here are other parts of this series: Introduction to Devotional Series on Ecclesiastes