Speaker: Jerry Cisar
For quite different reasons, both Job and the Preacher of Ecclesiastes are not happy with God’s management of the universe. Job goes directly to God with his complaint; being on the precipice of death, he cannot toy around with ideas. The Preacher has space enough to philosophize, it would seem, for he appears to be on a venture to test the limits of God’s patience!
Job is tested for His righteousness; the Preacher is testing whether righteousness or folly makes any difference. The wisdom of which the Preacher speaks is not the wisdom of God’s Law, nor could it be personified as the wisdom that made the world. The Preacher is much more enamored with his own wisdom and accomplishments.
The Preacher reflects on human experience and finds that nothing satisfies his sense of justice. As far as he is concerned, it is not right. It’s maddening. It has led him to the frustration of futility; to see the absurdity of trying. It’s important to remember that the Preacher is speaking of life under the sun. It’s his subtle way of expressing that he is pursuing a limited version of wisdom; a perspective that only accounts for what is under the sun.