Sunday, August 30, 2020
“You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.” Augustine of Hippo (354-430), Confessions Key Verses in Ecclesiastes, Chapter 3 Verse 1: For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven Verse 11: He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. Verse 21: Who knows whether the spirit of man goes upward and the spirit of the beast goes down into the earth? In this chapter, we have one of the most well-known portions of the Bible. Pete Seeger wrote a folk song based on the first 8 verses of Ecclesiastes 3 entitled, ‘Turn, Turn, Turn’ in the late 1950s and the song became a number one hit for the Byrds in 1965. We know that the author of Ecclesiastes is a wise man. The preacher knows something about life but more importantly he knows something about the author of life, God. In chapter three, we learn about the variety of experiences in life and we are also reminded about the inevitability of death. God has made us, given us life and the ability to enjoy life. God has also implanted eternity in our hearts – deep down we all know there is a God. With God in our lives, we can find meaning and purpose. Without God, there is always something missing. We are restlessly searching for something that eludes our grasp as Augustine captures so vividly in the introduction to his Confessions, possibly the most important Christian book ever written apart from the Bible. So, as you read the reflections of wise Solomon, the key to life, the key to death and the key to what lies beyond life and death can only be found in knowing God. It is only possible to know God through trusting in his Son, Jesus Christ – He alone gives life the way God intended for us to enjoy it. As the Apostle John states in 1 John 5:11–12, "And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life."