Yearning for Eden: Qoheleth’s Curtain Call

Jan 25, 2015 By: Pastor Joseph LoSardo Series: Under the Sun Scripture: Ecclesiastes 0
The book of Ecclesiastes is a report of the life experience of an old man, Qoheleth, “the Preacher,” who we believe is King Solomon. Many neglect or ignore the book because of its “cynical” and “hopeless” tone. Some believe that Solomon’s words are tainted as a result of a life steeped in sin and idolatry. Many, after reading the book, are left discouraged. Qoheleth’s words have been considered “negative;” and in a world where we are told that only “positive affirmations” are acceptable, the words of Ecclesiastes seem only to cause damage to one’s self-esteem. But Qoheleth is not a pessimist as much as he is a realist; he has taken off the rose-colored glasses in order to give us an honest evaluation of a fallen world; but he does so with his fixed intently on a perfect Eden. With this view then, Qoheleth knows that the vanity of this world is not the way it was supposed to be; it was not the way that God created it to be. The Preacher’s realistic assessment of life under the sun is an expression of anyone who might look at life on earth with an honest eye. Qoheleth’s groans over the meaningless toil of work, injustice in life, and certainty of death are those of one who is yearning for a return to Eden or longing for the coming of a New Jerusalem. We who are in Christ share Qoheleth’s desire. Like him, we are seeking to make the most of life in a temporary fallen world that is not our home. Like him, we, along with all creation, groan, awaiting the final redemption and return of Christ. Like him, we yearn for a return to the way it’s supposed to be – a day when there will be no more curse and no more sin or temptation; like him, we yearn for a return to Eden.