Well, I must admit it has been a while since I opened my Bible to the book of Ecclesiastes. I just finished reading it, and boy am I depressed. The whole book basically lays out what life would be like if God didn't care about us and there were no afterlife. It doesn't matter if you
are good or bad because there's no justice, everything is left up to chance. So you'd be best off not toiling away to grasp things that are here today and tomorrow forgotten. Everyone dies in the end. So eat, drink, and be merry today, for who knows (or even cares) what tomorrow brings?
I found myself not willing to trust the author. He seemed like a thoroughly bored rich guy. He talks about how he's wise, and how he knows everything that happens under the sun, and how he's had every pleasure humanly possible-- with a very arrogant flair. He says, "It's all vanity, futility" with a smug self-pity that I just don't respond well to. But then I remember that this isn't a personal letter, it's a well-crafted peice of literature with intentions to provoke this exact response in me, probably.
But I honestly don't know why this book is even in the Bible. We don't need to read about this way of life, the pleasure-seeking, nothing matters because God doesn't care attitude. It's all around us. It has saturated our culture. When I open my Bible I want to find hope... and Ecclesiastes doesn't offer any. Not even a "Hey reader, I was just making a point- aren't you glad that God isn't like this?" at the end, which would've been nice.