That which is declared meaningless today:
- Working for success because of envy of others
- Life without companionship
- Political power
- Trying to derive happiness from wealth
- Hoarding riches and living without enjoying your wealth
- Fantasizing about what you don't have
Today's list possesses an interesting feature: all of the things on it are things that common wisdom regularly does declare meaningless, or at least not worth the effort they are pursued with. Instead, the author of Ecclesiastes tells people to find companionship, eat, drink, and enjoy the work that they have to do and the wealth that they possess.
The author says to accept your lot in life. I do not interpret that as saying you should not try to change things. Rather, I think that it means to enjoy things in the here and now. What will change will change, but if you keep waiting for change before finding contentment, they you may die without ever finding it.
Really, I do not see why people find Ecclesiastes depressing. I find it to be extremely clear sighted and realistic.
Paul cautions believers against pairing themselves with unbelievers. In the process, he implies that we unbelievers are wicked, like the darkness, and of the devil. Paul then goes on to, once again, string together quotations from different parts of the scriptures as if they formed a single continuous passage. I continue to find that dishonest.
Then a bit more about Paul's relationship with the Corinthian church.
Psalms and Proverbs
It'd be nice if this were true, but it clearly isn't.
A person who gets ahead by oppressing the poor
or by showering gifts on the rich will end in poverty.