Last week, we considered the theology of Ecclesiastes. This week, we’ll look at the theology that is missing from the the book. This will help us understand Solomon’s approach to finding the meaning of life. What he left out was especially significant.
We’re going to look at some of the Psalms that Solomon’s father, David, wrote to contrast their views of God.
Psa 27:8 When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek.
Psa 63:1-4 O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; (2) To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary. (3) Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. (4) Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name.
Psa 24:3-6 Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? (4) He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. (5) He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. (6) This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah.
God’s Desire for a Personal Relationship
One of the glaring omissions from Solomon’s search is God’s desire for a relationship with the people He created. Solomon presents God as the Creator and Judge, but not as Father or Friend.
David heard God’s call to seek His face and responded with a commitment to seek God’s face. David called God, his God and promised to seek Him early. David thirsted after God like a parched man in the desert. To David, God’s lovingkindness was better than life.
There is no hint of that kind of realtionship between Solomon on Jehovah. Solomon sought a purpose, not a person. He didn’t realize that our purpose is found in our relationship to a Person.
Righteousness for the Sake of Relationship
Solomon recommended righteous living to avoid punishment at God’s hand. For David, though, the goal of righteousness was to enable him to abide with God. He wanted an abiding relationship. He wanted to do right to maintain his friendship with the Lord.
What About You?
Do you avoid sin and do right to avoid punishment, or to enjoy God’s friendship?