Chapter 2

2.1-11 Self indulgence. Solomon pursued many forms of escape that men continue to try today. All mankind eventually ends up at the same mountain peak of disillusion. The long list of escape methods included mirth (pleasure or rejoicing), wine, building projects, accumulating wealth, art, gardens, orchards, trees, pools of water, servants, maidens, great herds of animals, silver, gold, choirs, and women. When he had exhausted these many attempts at lasting fulfillment and contentment, he concluded it was all hebel, vanity, with no lasting pleasure and fulfillment. He accrued more than any man before him. He was great in the sight of all jealous and hungry men. Every single desire of his heart was granted completely. Finally he observed it all like a world conqueror, and realized it is all just more of the same. This conclusion alone makes the book of Ecclesiastes of immense value to all people who will hear. One thousand years later the aged, frail Apostle John will echo this conclusion; for all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, 1 Jn 2.16.

2.12-17 Wisdom. Solomon now records his observation of the intangibles. He lays wisdom and folly side by side. He records that wisdom does indeed exceed folly (foolishness). Then he observes that neither survive the death all men must face. Wisdom is helpful and all men should desire it, but ultimately even wisdom decays into hebel, vanity. This conclusion also is of great benefit to any who will harken. All Solomon had accrued in his life, would be left to someone else. The only things that survive the grave are the things God instructs us to possess.

2.18-26 wisdom more valuable than folly. Solomon concludes that even though wisdom only assists to the grave, wisdom is still a big help. The quality of life for a wise man verses the quality of life for a fool cannot be tabulated. The hours of peace and contentment verses the hours of fear and torment cannot be compared. Wisdom does stop at the grave, but the journey to the grave is immeasurably better with wisdom as your guide. All of life’s accruements are passed to another, but the quality of life while on earth is not to be disdained. Several times Solomon will return to this theme in this book; enjoy life, eat and drink, be satisfied with the reward of your labor. This is what God intends for mankind while on their earthly journey. This is from the hand of God. He is not ranting or prating about life, he is saying live well and enjoy life, that is the best road.
Thanks for reading today….