Solomon went out of his way to examine life, not only by observation but by experience. He even knew what it was to act as a fool. His experience of life is from a different standpoint than Job, indeed it could not be more different. Job sought to see the wisdom of it all in his suffering, and Solomon had wisdom as a gift and enjoyed the prosperous side of Life.
Solomon arrived at various conclusions.
1 There were varied philosophies of Life. ( as relevant today)
a. Fun pleasure - music - food - travel.
b. Fame: power - wars - houses - cities.
c. Fortune; possessions, wealth - women - estates - children
Solomon tasted everything that life could offer. He built himself the biggest houses, swimming pools, pop groups, 1000 wives and 4 million per year to live on.
2, Minor advantages in Life; ( relative values)
“good name is better than precious ointment”
“Living dog is better than a dead lion”
Solomon observed that after we have acquired all the world has to offer materially and argued or philosophised about the trivialities of life and its respective advantages or disadvantages, there remained one final test.
3. Major Test of Life.
All life’s activities are like pretty soap bubbles or sand castles.
They may be beautiful artistic, cultural, magnificently designed or whatever you can say of sand castles and bubbles, but when the wind blows the bubbles burst and when the tide of death comes in, the sandcastles fall.
All philosophies, all small-talk, all scoring petty intellectual points over another, and all the labour of man is like clutching at the wind. It is “vanity”.
4. The Final Verdict
The final chapter, Chapter 12, depicts a funeral, when the silver cord is broken. All experience must lead to eternity. Its true relevance will show there. Only that which survives death is solid and real.
“That which we see is temporal, that which we don’t see is eternal”
Solomon says that there is nothing new under the sun........ But there is plenty higher up.
Today People of fashion pride themselves on “being in the 21st century”. Anything they don’t agree with is labelled as “old fashioned”. Nothing is more old fashioned than sin. There is nothing new, all has been done a million times before. All the sins of the world are in Genesis. When they say that a certain moral stance is old fashioned, they are at least admitting that their stance is a fashion, and by definition will change. Only those in fashion at the judgement will stand.
“A man’s life does not consist of the things which he possesses” says the scriptures.
“Set your affections on things above”
“Where your heart is there will be your treasure also”
Boxes are never important no matter how fancy they look or are dressed up. It is always what is inside that matters. Bodies are but boxes for the soul.