Useful Bible Studies > Ecclesiastes Commentary > chapter 1

Why is life so hard?

Ecclesiastes 1:12-15

King Solomon was famous across the world for his wisdom (1 Kings 4:29-34). He had studied hard to become wise. And now he wanted to use his wisdom to help other people. He saw how hard they struggled, often because of wrong and foolish decisions. And he thought that, perhaps, he could help them.

Solomon quickly realised that he had given himself an extremely difficult task. In fact, it would be impossible to complete that task. People have more problems than anyone can count. It is impossible for a person to make right everything that is wrong.

And the thing that is most seriously wrong in this world is the state of peopleís hearts. In other words, their desires, attitudes and thoughts are completely wrong in Godís opinion (Romans 3:9-20). Peopleís wrong deeds are the result of the state of their hearts (Mark 7:20-23).

For that reason, God has ruled that people must work hard for their whole lives (Genesis 3:17-19). God did not intend that people should never rest (Exodus 20:8-10). But for many people, life seems a constant struggle. (Psalm 90:7-10). It is hard for them to earn their money. It is hard for them to provide for their families. It is hard to do what seems right or necessary. Solomon discovered that it was hard for him even to think about these matters.

These facts make Jesusí offer in Matthew 11:28-30 even more impressive. He invited people to serve him and to learn his wisdom. He would not give them tasks that are too hard for them. He offers them comfort and rest.

Next part: Does wisdom improve a personís life? (Ecclesiastes 1:16-18)


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© 2019, Keith Simons.