The word “ecclesiastes” translates as “gatherer, teacher, preacher”. It is a book of the Bible I seem to appreciate more as I grow older. Perhaps it is the reflective nature of the author, perhaps the fact that as I experience more of life, I experience more of what Ecclesiastes describes. In any case, I feel the cries of “Meaningless! Meaningless!” actually hold great meaning. What could be read as the groanings of a man finding no satisfaction in earth’s treasures, can also be seen as a revelation of hope, a revelation of wisdom, a discovery of the knowing the Son.
Wisdom, pleasures, toil, advancement, oppression, friendship, life, death and God. All are scrutinised by the teacher, the author of Ecclesiastes. Here are some of His conclusions.
P1: Who Will Remember?
“There is no remembrance of former things,
Nor will there be any remembrance of things that are to come
By those who will come after.” – [Ecclesiastes 1:11]
People invest heavily into their “legacy”. How will they be remembered, who will place flowers by their grave, what lasting contribution will they give the earth? Statues, gravestones, autobiographies, and photos – we try to preserve the memory of our eighty, ninety years on earth. Yet, Ecclesiastes 1:9-10 says,
“That which has been is what will be,
That which is done is what will be done.
And is there anything of which it may be said,
“See, this is new”?
It has already been in ancient times before us.”
We search to be unique in a world of billions, we want acknowledgement that our lives mean something. Yet, generations come and go, people are born, and people die. The earth continues spinning and in the eternity of time, a human life goes by in less than a second.
What hope is there is this? How then, do we treat our lives when they are overshadowed by greater concepts we only try to appreciate? This is the context of Ecclesiastes’ journey into the delights of life, to find what gives life its meaning and what gives it purpose.
When I look at this chapter in Ecclesiastes, I see the following human mindsets contrasted against the promises of God.
We say, “Who will remember?”,
God says, “I remember you.” [Psalm 115:12]
We say, “How can I be unique?”,
God says, “You are fearfully and wonderfully made.”
[Psalm 139:13-14, Ephesians 2:10]
We say, “What legacy shall we build?”
God says, “Build up treasures in heaven.” [Matthew 6:20-21]
We say, “What is my purpose?”,
God says, “You were made for My glory.” [Isaiah 43:7]
We say, “What happens in death?”,
God says, “There is no death in me.” [Colossians 3:3-4, Romans 8:11]
Who will remember? God will.
He not only remembers us, but acts to fashion out each one of our days.
He remembers, and gives us mercy.
He remembers, and blesses our lives.
He remembers our obedience, and treasures it.
He remembers how He loves us, pursuing us until we find healing in Him.
He remembers why He made us, and sent His Son to give us salvation.
He remembers His promises to us, and is faithful to keep them.
God remembers us. Will we remember Him?