Permit me some brief personal comments before I start my review of the book of Ecclesiastes: My original intent of this specific essay was to only cover Proverbs. However, as I neared the completion of the previous pages, I got an uneasy sense (on July 19) that something was missing that was not assuaged by reviewing the text and not seeing anything obviously out of place or wrong. I went to consult with the Spirit, and after asking for a scripture text to read, was directed to Ecclesiastes. The sense that I got was that I was to cover Ecclesiastes as well. A reading of the book on the morning of July 20th convinced me that my distaste to address Ecclesiastes was real, but that the requirement to address it in the essay was equally real. I believe it was shortly after church, while polishing this essay, that I resigned myself to addressing Ecclesiastes. My distaste of Ecclesiastes arises from the fact that I am of a melancholic temperament that gets easily activated when it thinks upon the subject matter that Ecclesiastes addresses. This appears to be a trait shared by those young people of this generation that are called "emos", but when I was their age, I suffered in silence and lonliness.
Later that same afternoon I got a distraught phone call from a co-worker that a mutual acquaintance of ours had died after suffering a massive heart attack who was only three years my senior in age.
That tragedy, coupled with the Spirit's mandate, my reading of Ecclesiastes that morning, and the "normal" Sunday evening blues that seemed to hit me harder than normal forced my thoughts into a somewhat different direction that the Spirit used to lead me to realise why I had to deal with Ecclesiastes.
Ecclesiastes will not help us understand the Holy Spirit better.
Rather, our new understanding of the Holy Spirit will help us deal with the issues raised by Ecclesiastes that plagued the thoughtful of those days, and which torment the thoughtful of our days as well.
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