Ecclesiastes: Chasing the Wind
Ecclesiastes claims life is meaningless. Why? Because we are constantly comparing ourselves with others. The author compares himself to others when he claims to have had more possessions “than any who had been before me in Jerusalem.” (2:7) To make his point comparing ourselves with others, he repeats himself “I became great and surpassed all who were before me in Jerusalem.” He realized that all this “was vanity and a chasing after the wind.”
Yet, Ecclesiastes insists we can find joy in life. We can do so when we release our grasp on finding meaning in comparing ourselves with others and seek to love others as we love ourselves. This means doing what we can to make sure that Ecclesiastes statement that “it is God’s gift that all should eat and drink and take pleasure in their toil” (3:13).
For the section on love, see W. Sibley Towners commentary on Ecclesiastes 9:9-10. “The point here is … the importance of the ability to love amid the fleeting absurdity of life.”