God is the God of Fortune 500 companies and he is the God of cleaning the dryer lint. Joy in work isn’t calibrated towards the size of the work, but the size of the Lord who has called you to the task.
We live in a world of complexities and conundrums, so must resist falling into an “all or nothing” mentality. The kings of the Bible aren’t neatly divided between good and bad. It’s filled with great kings who are adulterers (David) and evil kings who bless the people of God (Cyrus).
As we seek to understand who God is, what this world is and what is our place in this world, Solomon warns of some practical barriers which impede our understanding. Surprisingly, the first potential barrier to understanding God is worship-if you are not worshipping rightly.
We ought to think of Ecclesiastes 2 as a series of highly sophisticated and calculated experiments. Solomon begins with the words, “I said in my heart, ‘Come now, I will test you…” Solomon wants to find meaning in life and he’s going about his quest in a thoughtful manner.
In his novel, When Nietzsche wept, Irvin Yalom writes, “Despair is the price one pays for self-awareness.” In other words, don’t look deeply into life. If you begin to think deeply about the world, wealth, work, and wisdom you’ll despair. And yet, God, through the author of Ecclesiastes spends 12 chapters forcing us to think deeply about all these things.