Under the Sun

Wayne Cordeiro

So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me" (Ecclesiastes 2:17-18)
The opening chapters of Ecclesiastes sounds a little like the beloved sketch from Hee Haw, a sitcom from the 80's. Four hillbillies perform it. Surrounded by moonshine jugs and looking overtly miserable, they'd sing:

"Gloom, despair and agony on me-e!

Deep dark depression, excessive misery-y!

If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all!

Gloom, despair and agony on me-e-e!"

Solomon paints life dark. It can confuse the reader if we don't catch one redundant phrase that shows up often: "Under the sun." Solomon was experimenting with life by doing his deeds based on his own wisdom. He drove everything from the vast storehouses of his unending opulence.

"Under the sun" meant a life without God's help. It was an ill-fated attempt to navigate life with the strength of his own biceps and the know-how from his own gut.

No help from God on this one. Just money, power, a harem, and lots of imagination.

At the time of this writing, I am sitting in Starbucks listening to Frank Sinatra over the sound system crooning: "I Did It My Way!"

I think he learned that song from Solomon.
Not all wisdoms are created equal.

Solomon found that out. And so will we. The imaginative king writes his final conclusion that it "all is vanity," and if we will heed his advice, he can save us years of having to sing: "Gloom, despair, and misery on me."

Solomon had wisdom, but apart from God, that kind of wisdom falls short.

James reminds us that there is a type of wisdom that is not from God. In James 3:15, we find these sobering words:

"This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. "

There are two qualities: a wisdom from above and a wisdom that is "under the sun."

I need to insure that any wisdom I have comes from above, that it fits the parameters of the Word of God in every case, and that it is permeated with His Spirit. I must monitor my heart to be sure I am not rationalizing my actions, painting it with religious colors in order to give me permission in abetting my flesh.

Each of us must scrub our hearts so we will be a little more like Solomon's father who, in his 139th entry of his Life journal, wrote:

"Search me Oh God and know my heart. Try me and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in Your everlasting way!"
Dear Father,

Thank you so much for recording for us the raw, unedited accounts of men who have gone before us and who've tried it all. May we treasure their lessons and deposit their gems to our account. I ask for the wisdom from on high, and that I never detach myself from the source of that wisdom: which is a daily trip to heaven's well from which I will draw my strength for each day.

In Jesus' Name, Amen!

(For further study, see Ephesians 2:1-3).

Devotions for June 06

Ecclesiastes 1,2,3
Psalms 45
Ephesians 2

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