The author of Ecclesiastes wanted to understand the nature of foolish behaviour. By that, he meant wicked behaviour. People do things that they believe to be stupid, wrong and dangerous. It seems extraordinary that anyone should choose to behave like that. But in fact, everybody is doing such things constantly.
Evil behaviour tempts us in order that it may control us. It is like a woman who has chosen not to be loyal to her husband. She tempts a man in the same way that evil behaviour tempts us all. Like us, that man knows that his actions are foolish and dangerous. Like us, he wants to please himself now, although his happiness can only last for a moment. That feeling causes him to forget all the trouble that he is causing for himself and his family.
You can read similar descriptions in Proverbs chapter 5 and Proverbs 9:13-18. These passages are about wrong sex, but they also describe all kinds of wrong behaviour. We do these things because we allow evil desires to control us (James 1:14-15). We allow our emotions to rule our lives.
Only the person who pleases God can avoid such behaviour. So we need to understand how we can please God. It is certainly not by our own good deeds or hard efforts (Romans 4:1-8). Instead, we must believe God and we must trust him (Galatians 3:6-9). Then God will give us his Holy Spirit, and our wrong desires will not still control us (Galatians 5:16-23). God can free us from the power of our evil deeds because Jesus died for us (1 John 1:7).
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© 2014, Keith Simons.