Under The Sun

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Surprising to some, my favorite book of the Bible is Ecclesiastes (my second is the gospel of John). Why? Solomon poses life’s biggest questions and leaves them somewhat unresolved. John, the beloved apostle, reveals that all of life’s questions can be answered in the person of Jesus Christ. Solomon says, life can feel monotonous, repetitive, and without purpose at certain seasons. As he opens this book, he says life can feel like vanity of vanities, “useless” and without purpose. It can seem like one’s life doesn’t even matter in the scheme of eternity. But, (and don’t miss this, its critical for understanding this book) that is life “under the sun”. That phrase unlocks the wisdom of Ecclesiastes, for in it two philosophies are contrasted. There is life under the sun (a perspective that cannot see God), only what is on earth, temporary, etc. And then, as we will see, there is life under heaven!

The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. “Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher,
“Vanity of vanities! All is vanity.” What advantage does man have in all his work which he does under the sun?
A generation goes and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever.
Also, the sun rises and the sun sets; and hastening to its place it rises there again. Ecclesiastes 1:1-5 NASB

Which view permeates my philosophy of life? Do I live only seeing what is on earth… or what is done under heaven?

God, I confess I live both ways. Sometimes I do not take You and eternity into account and I suffer for it. I feel disconnected from the very One who made me and offers a relationship. Please forgive my sin and selfishness. Then, other days, I walk (almost float) through the day empowered by the abiding presence of Your Spirit and receive heavenly thoughts, Your perspective- I am under heaven! May today be a day like that.

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