Here’s the Bible Project overview for this book. I also really loved Bethany’s summary she wrote during our last read-through.
Even if you don’t believe in God, or a greater purpose for life, Ecclesiastes is relatable. And hold on to your hats, because it’s both humbling and sobering. As we approach this book, hold tightly to this verse:
“So I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God. For who can eat or enjoy anything apart from him?” 2:24
It’s easy to get discouraged as we sort through the king’s advice chapter after chapter. Nothing matters! Education is meaningless! Your body will fail! Money fails you! Say goodbye to your eyesight! Everyone will forget you when you die! And hey, it’s all true, but a little hard to swallow verse after verse.
God has intricately designed life to be enjoyed. It’s why sunsets are different every evening and always beautiful. It’s why we all have slightly different colored eyes. Why food tastes good. Why Jesus’ power arrived on scene at a wedding, as he provided more wine for everyone. He wants you to drink and be merry, but to do so with him. There is not true joy apart from a relationship with God. Happiness? Sure. Entertainment and pleasure? Well, yeah. But you’ll come up empty. Your stuff will get old, your technology irrelevant. Your body aged and tired. Your food will spoil. But working hard on the tasks in front of you, investing in the relationships you’ve been given and getting to know and love the God who gifted you all of these things is the perfect recipe for contentment, meaning and joy.