I love this idea that The Bible Project puts forth (regarding Ecclesiastes) saying that the teacher/preacher’s aim is to “deconstruct all the ways we find meaning & purpose apart from God.” Derek Kidner agrees with this, quoting G.S. Hendry, “His book is in fact a critique of secularism and of secularized religion.”
I think of it this way. Solomon was raised by his father David, the man after God’s heart. Solomon knew the Lord and followed him well at times. He also blew it pretty badly.I think of this book as Solomon’s life lessons for the rest of us. He writes from his experience and from the attitude of someone living life apart from God… resting on wealth, wisdom, pleasure, etc… alone rather than resting on God. He had already learned this but he writes as if he hadn’t in order to string us along.
As we listen to this wise old man we go through the same emotions. Tim Keller says (Book: Counterfeit gods) that idolatry is when we take good things and make them ultimate things. That is, we put them at the top, leaving God out of the list or else lower. The challenge I take from this book is to evaluate my life and try to get at my own elusive heart to see what I trust in the most. I want to deconstruct the idols I cling to so that I can learn to live the good life.
Peace to you!