If one of the brightest men who ever lived speaks to young and old alike then it must be very important! Wouldn't it be wise to learn what that message is? I know that you have dishes to do, errands to run, rugs to vacuum, beds to make, dinner to prepare, etc. etc. Just stop for the few minutes it will take to read and ponder what God is saying to us, through Solomon.
Within the history of the church there have been two basic views on the theology of the book if Ecclesiastes. On the one hand, some describe the contents of the book as pessimistic, cynical, skeptical, hedonistic, or agnostic, and picture the author as a man of doubt who has wandered far from God. On the other hand, many interpret the book quite positively: the author is a man of faith, a realist, who sees that man simply cannot put the whole of life together. The latter view is favored since the author believes God is good; believes God has a wise plan; believes God is just; and always exhorts men to fear God.
The book is a reflection on wisdom and foolishness; time and eternity; wealth and possessions; conduct and reward; joy and heartache; trouble and adversity and warnings to the youth. Somewhere along the time line of this book, you and I are slotted.
In my lifetime I have come across other people who are battling or accepting the frailties of life and working it out to the best of their ability. One couple after being assisted with their needs, left the store where they were shopping and drove off, complimented one another's handicap. He was deaf and she was blind.
One of the questions I missed when I took my driver's test for the State of Florida, was: If a man is deaf, what item is required on his auto in order be licensed? The answer was, a rear view mirror. (That way he could see who is frantically honking at him!)
The words of Solomon in this book are like goads that prod us. As a child I recall a heavy snowstorm that occurred in western Pennsylvania and some of the children came to school on a large wooden sled pulled by two oxen. The driver had a prod (goad) with a sharp metal tip on it to keep the oxen moving. The purpose of his trip was to bring the children to school. Life is like that, says Solomon. Like a goad, a wise word or important truth might be unpleasant when first applied but it will keep us moving in God's direction and His purpose for us.
The positive message of wise old Solomon in his book of Ecclesiastes is: “Fear God and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”
The book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon's written sermon, cannot be interpreted correctly without reading these final verses. No matter what the mysteries and apparent contradictions of life, you must work toward the single purpose of knowing God.
Now return to your busy schedule and finish your plans for the day because these also are the appointments of God.
Reference: Ecclesiastes Chap. 12, Liberty Study Bible, Life Application Bible, Tyndale House Pub. Wheaton, Ill. 60189.