The Missing Theology of Ecclesiastes (3)

Introduction

Yesterday, we saw how the difference between how David and Solomon viewed their sin and God’s mercy. Today, we’ll constrast their views of how God hears prayer and helps the oppressed.

Bible Reading

Psa 3:3-4 But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. (4) I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.

Psa 4:3 But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the LORD will hear when I call unto him.

Psa 5:2-3 Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray. (3) My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.

Psa 34:6 This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.

Psa 9:9-10 The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. (10) And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.

Psa 28:6-7 Blessed be the LORD, because he hath heard the voice of my supplications. (7) The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.

God Hears Prayer

David was hounded and hunted by King Saul. The leader of his nation was out to get him, and few would stand up to him. David learned through hard personal experience that God is the best friend a man can have. David cried out to God over and over for help, strength, deliverance, provision, etc.

Solomon lived in a time of peace and prosperity. He was powerful. He was wise. Solomon didn’t need to cry out to God because he had everything he needed. As a result, prayer wasn’t a big part of his life. There is no record of him asking God for help fulfilling his quest for meaning. In fact, the words pray and prayer do not even appear in the book of Ecclesiasted.

God Answers Prayer

Prayer wasn’t just a religious ritual to David – it was a lifeline. He prayed because he needed, and expected, help from God. When God help, David thanked Him and proclaimed His goodness to others. Solomon doesn’t recommend prayer as a way to find meaning. In Solomon’s theology, man is pretty much on his own.

What About You?

  • Do you pray?
  • If so, is a ritual, or a reality, for you?
  • Do you expect answers?

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