Sometimes I’m utterly amazed by the wisdom found in the Bible. Oh, I don’t mean all the “thou shalt not” and “love is everything” stuff. That kind of wisdom is really pretty obvious, and maybe we would have stumbled upon those truths on our own. We’re a bright bunch, even if we learn best from our mistakes.
What blows me away are the subtle words of wisdom tucked into books we normally try to avoid reading. I mean everyone likes to start off the day with Psalms or Proverbs or Corinthians, but when was the last time you enthusiastically said “I think I’ll sit down and read Leviticus or Ecclesiastes”? That’s what I thought! J
Ecclesiastes happens to be one of my favorite books. The intro in my Bible says it is a book that teaches that “a life not centered on God is purposeless and meaningless”. I just know that it is a book that makes me think. It doesn’t lay everything out and say “do this”. It gives comparisons and makes statements, and lets you draw conclusions. Many scholars have studied and argued over Ecclesiastes. I just like to read it.
I’m not going to copy all of them, but I would encourage you to read the first eleven verses today. I could write pages and pages about the wisdom of just these few verses. As a history enthusiast and genealogist I’m am most fascinated by verses 9 and 11.
9 What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.
We like to think that our modern ways and our gadgets and our conveniences make us so very different, and somehow better, than our ancestors, yet if you study history you soon realize we are doing the same things, and even making many of the same mistakes as earlier generations. We just do them in different ways! It is not the nature of man, nor the needs of man that have changed in any way. And the author goes on to point out that even as we find things and do things and understand things it only makes us seek more and more in our quest to fill a void in our lives that only God can fill.
11 There is no remembrance of men of old, and even those who are yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow.
Most of us can’t remember our great-grandparents very well. I never even knew either of my great-grandfathers. If they were famous or accomplished in some way we might know a few things about their lives, but for the most part they are just gone and forgotten. All of us will be gone and forgotten by some future generation. That is the way of life. Does that make our time on earth meaningless? I don’t think so. I think it makes our time more precious. I think it should encourage us to do the best we can with the life we have and to do what we can for the people we share it with.
Forget about being famous so future generations will remember you! What are you doing for the people around you who need you today??