Speaker: Jerry Cisar
Zack Eswine offers the following illustration. “You hear a crash in the living room. It is a vase. It might have been a vase you loved. You have four children. After you hear the crash, the shouts magnify. “Mom! Dad!” Four different voices run your way to tell you, “I didn’t do it. No. He did it. She hit me!” So there you are, encountering what’s given. All has to be heard…. You are brought into a story that has already taken place. In order to make some sense of that, you have to slow down and listen. Hasty reaction will likely render the wrong verdict with an emotional reaction built on irrational logic. Yet even seeking to hear creates problems.”
In some ways the words of the Preacher have been like the voices of the four children. The conversation picks up after the vase is broken. We know how it got broken because we have Genesis 1-3 … and so does the Preacher. However, he seems to have set that aside initially so that we might deal with life on its own terms before grappling with the real answers.
Now that all has been heard, he draws his conclusions. At some point the parent in the situation of the broken vase must draw conclusions and tell the four kids what needs to be done. That is what the Preacher is doing in Ecclesiastes 12:8-12.