THERE IS A TIME FOR EVERYTHING, AND A SEASON FOR EVERY ACTIVITY UNDER THE HEAVENS
EVERYTHING IS MEANINGLESS! … THAT’S A LITTLE DRAMATIC, DON’T YOU THINK?
Have you ever had one of those days when you find yourself lost in thought, falling down the rabbit hole of pondering life, purpose, wisdom, your very existence on this earth? It’s a hard moment and that’s what is happening here for the author of Ecclesiastes. Ecclesiastes is a book most people skip over. Other than giving some teenagers ammunition to overcome the religious folk in a country town to have a dance (Footloose) and some sermons on the timing of God quoting the ‘there is a time for everything’ section, how much of Ecclesiastes have we read? It just seems depressing and overwhelming. How many times can one book say ‘meaningless, like chasing the wind’!
THE WISDOM PARADOX | ELLA HICKEY
Wisdom literature in the Old Testament refers to and is entirely involved with the notion of ‘skill in living’, which is a combination of the capacities of human intellect, the application of knowledge, and experience of daily life – teaching us moral principles, or prompting us to reflect or investigate problems which are associated with the human existence.* It challenges and confronts the human search for meaning and purpose, as well as the reality of pain, suffering, death, and our relationship with God thereof. This was the function of wisdom literature within the Jewish tradition, and therefore it is with this understanding that we must approach the books which fall under this genre enclosed within the Bible – including the Book of Ecclesiastes (not to be confused with the deuterocanonical Ecclesiasticus, also known as the wisdom of Sirach or Ben Sira).