Monday, March 28, 2011

Ecclesiastes: The Good Life

Some Christian sects seem to take a gloomy view of life: the earth is a source of sin and corruption and a trap for the good Christian. I suspect those groups either never read the following or ignore it. There's also an interesting comment about the rich.

"Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labor that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him; for it is his portion.

Every man also to whom God has given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labor: this is the the gift of God."

Ecclesiastes 5: 18-19

I suppose I will be told that I am misinterpreting this and have it all wrong.


  1. Fred,

    There will always be groups in Christianity that pick and chose what they want to believe. To me the key is reading the ENTIRE Bible, and not taking a verse here and there out of context. Context is important. The important parts of those verses are "which God giveth him" and "this is the gift of God" - THAT'S the focus. Here's a bit of commentary from The Life Application Bible ( NIV):

    "God wants us to view what we have ( whether it is much or little) with the right perspective - our possessions are a gift from God. Although they are not the source of joy, they are a reason to rejoice because every good thing comes from God. We should focus more on the giver than the gift. "

  2. I interpret the passage - the entire book, the wisest one in the Hebrew Bible - much like you do.

    Ecclesiastes is Old Testament, so the gloomier sects might regard it with suspicion for that reason alone.

  3. Cheryl,

    Thanks for the quotation from the NIV. That goes along with my view of the passage.

  4. Amateur Reader,

    _Ecclesiastes_ is my favorite book of the Bible also.

    I guess some people just enjoy being gloomy and miserable.