Life on earth is hard. It can often feel like assembling a complex puzzle, except many of the pieces don’t fit. Kind people can be harmed, and cruel people can be helped. Honorable people can die young, while dishonorable people can live long. Diligent people can be dealt a hand that leads to poverty, and lazy people can come into a fortune. The difficulty of life leads many to conclude life is meaningless, and God, if real at all, is distant from the workings of this world. Buried in the pages of this strangely comforting book is sympathy for our struggle and signposts, pointing us to a Savior who gives ultimate meaning to this life.
May 24 – Chasing The Wind
Solomon stacked the word ‘vanity’ upon itself five times in one verse to make his point clear: life under the sun is broken. Our strivings, even in comparison with previous generations, are full of weariness and futility. The good news is we aren’t alone in our feelings.
May 31 – Just A Little More
Solomon, a man who could resource any endeavor to its fullest, learned that we can’t find soul-satisfaction by the things on this earth. Pleasure, laughter, drunkenness, achievement, utopian settings, power, wealth, and sex are all failed Saviors. Christ came to rescue and fulfill. We ought not let what we can’t understand destroy what we can enjoy.
June 7 – Beautiful In Its Time
Processing God’s sovereignty in a crooked world is complicated. Viewing God’s plan from ‘under the sun’ is like looking at a tapestry under the loom where we see the knots. One day God will flip the loom and let us see the top of His sovereign design. We are to take heart; we will see His good plan.
June 14 – Things That Make You Say “Oh No”
The work of God’s hands will be revealed, but Solomon expresses grief that he sees injustice and oppression in all the world, death among all living things, restlessness provoked by envy, loneliness caused by ambition, and peril from popularity. When life hurts, God calls us to look upward and inward before outward.
June 21 – Looking Above The Thorns
Between two sections that highlight our brokenness is this warning about how we are to approach God when we are perplexed by what we see. We are to fear Christ enough to run to Him in trust, approach His Word diligently, and pray with confidence and reverence.
June 28 – Dissatisfying Dollars
Crooked hearts do crooked things, and no man so rich has ever written a warning so clear. We will always want more, lose sleep thinking how to get more, and resist people who ask for more. This vicious cycle leads to missed opportunities at the sweet joys of this life. We are to be rich in all that truly matters: Christ.
July 5 – Climbing The Ladder To Neverland
Solomon bemoans the bitterness of discontentment. A heart far from God, a heart of envy and greed, is full of bitterness. Sweetness can be found in submitting to God’s sovereignty, and part of that involves learning how to enjoy His blessings.
July 12 – Looking To God In The Shadows
We must trust God when life doesn’t add up. It is hard for us to reconcile how people who shake their fist at God can enjoy prosperity, while people who bend their knee to God can face affliction. But, the one Truth that reigns across all cultures and peoples is: We need God.
July 19 – Tug Of War
As Solomon observed inequity upon the earth, he urges his readers to fear the Lord. Fearing the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and wisdom carries remarkable benefits like stability and poise, protection, patience, humility, and perspective.
July 26 – Enjoying Life In The Shadows
There are vast benefits of becoming a wise person on earth. Wisdom teaches us that death is inevitable, to enjoy life to its fullest, to expect uncertainty in life, and to pursue more wisdom. The deeper we dig, the greater the treasure. We are to trust Christ, who conquered the grave, and who makes known the beginning from the end.
August 2 – Wisdom In The Trenches
In these verses, Solomon explains the benefits of God’s wisdom. God, in His goodness, restrains our folly that would lead to shame and leads us to wait for the eventual triumph of wisdom. He teaches us to apply wisdom to our strengths, to show wisdom in our words, and He uses wisdom to inform both our working and resting.
August 9 – Tick Tock Goes The Clock
After posting dead-end signs on so many life paths, Solomon urges us to run and risk for what truly matters. God’s sovereignty is to be our comfort, not our excuse, so wisdom tells us to pursue a dream, directed by the mission of God, now because our time is ticking. If it seems to fail, trust God. If it seems to succeed, thank God. Take a step of faith today.
August 16 – The Whole Duty Of Man
Here at the end of the book, we find a summation of the most important truths to be learned: The wisdom of God is found in Scripture and is to be shared, and the mercy of God pleads for us to fear Him, tells us to keep His commands, and reminds us of judgment.