What The Preacher Said

June 22, 2014


“In consolation, remember desolation. In desolation, remember consolation.” A great paradox; and this too sounds as though it is from Eccl., although it’s not. Ecclesiastes is full of paradox, contradictions, ambiguities that have long left readers puzzled. The writer seeks wisdom, knowing it is better to be wise than foolish, yet the wise and the fool end up the same: they both pass away and are forgotten. That is vanity. But this is the way life is: full of contradictions, disappointments, paradoxes, unresolved mysteries, doubt. Life is messy like that, and doesn’t always have the endings we’d like. The very things about Ecclesiastes that make us scratch our head in puzzlement may be its very point: there’s much about life that leaves us that way. One reason I like Ecclesiastes because it doesn’t flinch when faced with the realities of life. It shows us life as it really is, not the way we wished it were.

Bible References

  • Ecclesiastes 2:1 - 17
  • Ecclesiastes 3:9 - 15
  • Ecclesiastes 12:13 - 14