Solomon addresses himself as “the Preacher”. He is the one that will proclaim the spritiual truths of God to those in his nation and to Christians throughout time.
Keep in mind, Solomon learned these truths by trying to find the meaning to life through experiencing all this world has to offer. Solomon was uniquely suited to learn these lessons and share these truths with the people of God…
First of all, very few men possess sufficient wealth and power to be able to sample all this world has to offer (1 Kings 10:23).
Secondly, only Solomon and a few others throughout time, have been universally respected causing his teachings to be taken very seriously and thoughtfully by all (1 Kings 4:30-34). (Keep in mind, even Christ Himself and His teachings were rejected by many of those around Him.)
Solomon was God’s man, in God’s place, at God’s time, by God’s grace, to learn this most important truth and proclaim it with authority to those he loved. May we all listen carefully as Solomon reveals to us the true meaning to life and answer the question… “What Is Our Life If Not Lived for The Lord ?”.
That which is far off, and exceeding deep, who can find it out? I applied mine heart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom, and the reason of things, and to know the wickedness of folly, even of foolishness and madness: And I find more bitter than death the woman, whose heart is snares and nets, and her hands as bands: whoso pleaseth God shall escape from her; but the sinner shall be taken by her. Behold, this have I found, saith the preacher, counting one by one, to find out the account: Which yet my soul seeketh, but I find not: one man among a thousand have I found; but a woman among all those have I not found. Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.
That which is far off, and exceeding deep, who can find it out? I applied mine heart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom, and the reason of things, and to know the wickedness of folly, even of foolishness and madness:
Solomon was the first to admit that he could never perfectly come to an understanding of all the counsels of God and how He worked upon the earth. Although he greatly desired to understand the role of Godly wisdom, earthly wisdom and foolishness in the world around him, he could only use his limited spiritual and human abilities to come to any conclusion on the subject. He was freely admitting that his understanding of all these things was limited by his carnal, fallen, human nature.
And I find more bitter than death the woman, whose heart is snares and nets, and her hands as bands: whoso pleaseth God shall escape from her; but the sinner shall be taken by her.
Through Solomon’s investigation, he recognizes that a seductive woman who seeks to ensnare men and hold them in carnal sins, produces worse pain, sorrow, and loss than death itself. Of course, this woman can be speaking of any source of temptation that confronts men and can derail them and hold them captive, as they seek to serve the Lord.
He is clearly stating that it is far better for a Christian to be taken from this world than to become ensnared in sin and rendered useless for the cause of Christ.
Solomon observes that although the seduction of sin can be very powerful, it is possible for men to escape it through the intervention of the Lord. In comparison the lost, seeking to escape from her grasp, realizes they cannot escape her grasp because they do not have the Lord in their lives.
Behold, this have I found, saith the preacher, counting one by one, to find out the account: Which yet my soul seeketh, but I find not: one man among a thousand have I found; but a woman among all those have I not found. Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.
Solomon, the teacher (after a very systematic, detailed examination) has not found one man in a thousand, who could overcome the seduction of sin by their own merit. In other words, there are no man, or woman, that could be found on the earth who perfectly rules over their flesh and lives a life of absolute sinlessness.
(Keep in mind the word “thousand” represents “all or every” as in Psa 50:10 where we are told the Lord owns “all the cattle on a thousand hills” ie…. He owns cattle on all the hills. When Solomon says he cannot find a man among a thousand, he is saying he could find no man among them all. Likewise he could find no perfect woman among all women.)
Although God has made man to be perfect and sinless, however, in a fallen man’s heart they always follow their own sinful desires due to the fallen nature that indwells us all.
Solomon came to understand the inability for any of us to come to a full understanding of the need for Godly wisdom and strength in the fallen world around us. Apart from the Lord’s intervention in our life, we have no chance of ever coming to an understanding of our great need of Him and His enabling to overcome sin.
May we all remember that resisting temptation only comes through the gracious enabling of the Lord. As such, may we all honor and praise Him exclusively when we find ourselves victorious over the sins that lie in our path as we walk life upon the earth.
Solomon’s pursuit of the meaning of life included:
|1.||2:1-3||The pursuit of carnal desires (the base pleasures found in a fallen world)|
|2.||2:4-11||The pursuit of material possessions through human labors|
|3.||2:12-17||The pursuit of worldly wisdom, madness and folly|
|4.||2:18-23||The pursuit of responsible (frugal & wise) living to retain worldly goods Prt #1|
|5.||2:24-26||The pursuit of responsible (frugal & wise) living to retain worldly goods Prt #2|
|6.||3:1-8||A recognition of the Lord’s sovereign control over all life events Prt #1|
|7.||3:9-15||A recognition of the Lord’s sovereign control over all life events Prt #2|
|8.||3:16-22||A recognition of our need of Christ to see the nature and purpose of our life.|
|9.||4:1-3||A recognition that never being born is better than the sufferings of this life.|
|10.||4:4-16||The pursuit of earthly wisdom, diligence and living responsibly|
|11.||5:1-7||The pursuit of worldly vows, contracts, and promises|
|12.||5:8-17||The pursuit of worldly riches|
|13.||5:18-20||A recognition that enjoyment of this earthly life is God’s gracious gift to man|
|14.||6:1-2||A recognition of man’s inability to enjoy that which God has given to him.|
|15.||6:3-10||A recognition of man’s sinfulness, mortality and need of humility before God|
|16.||6:11-12||A recognition of the vanity of all that lies under the sun.|
|17.||7:1-10||The pursuit of prideful living|
|18.||7:11-23||The recognition of the value of Godly wisdom|
|19.||7:24-29||The pursuit of Godly enabling|
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