The Book of Ecclesiastes is, in my estimation, one of the more crucial books of the Bible with which to reckon. A right understanding of Solomon’s soul-searching invites one to embark upon their own such incisive quests. It does not call us to escape our broken world, but rather, to engage it — to enter into all the discomfort, discombobulation, and disaster of this fractured life and there tender grace.
French theologian and philosopher Blaise Pascal once said, “All men seek happiness . . . This is the motive of every action of man, even of those who hang themselves.” The brazenness of this quote reveals a startling truth: everyone’s looking for lasting joy. Even those who commit suicide are chasing joy — they’ve just been duped into thinking killing themselves is the answer. The gospel, though, provides a better answer.