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Twisting the Untwistable (Ecclesiastes 2)

May 28, 2013 by Pito


  To the inscrutable repetitions of life, Solomon adds that man is not only finite, he is also sinful. What God has made crooked because of sin, man cannot straighten out. Man cannot untwist what God has twisted.

  Contrary to the modern gospel of uplift, it is God who has given us a painful business, a world of affliction, thorns and briers in every hand.

   Solomon, in his flight from God, tried every pleasure, every experience and he found them all empty. From laughter to better living through chemistry, from royal feasting to works of cultivation and refinement, it all added up to a big zero.

   Solomon left nothing undone. He tried everything. If it felt good, he did it. What did he find at the end of his rainbow? a pot of vapor. God’s curse has given us a pot of vapor. God also gives to His own the gift of enjoying it all, anyway.

   If control is not an option, what should we strive for?

“Aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands….  Pray for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way…”

   After trying everything Solomon concludes, “There is nothing inherent in man than that he should eat and drink and that his soul should enjoy the good of his labor.”

  Human life in all its mystery is a gift from God. The man of God will experience frustration and pain, and he will respond with deep feelings of revulsion and even hatred; this must be a temporary posture, a passing response. The ultimate posture of the wise believer is to “take and eat,” confessing that God has gifted him with life. So take and eat!

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