The Work of God
Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight,
which he hath made crooked?
Ecclesiastes 7:13 (spoke 21, Cycle 1)
The Book of Ecclesiastes will mystify many Christians until they recognise the significance of
the Shin KeyWord שמש (Shemesh, Sun). This word is
used repeatedly in Ecclesiastes in the phrase under the sun. It refers to the
surface life made of vain appearances,
devoid of God's spiritual light. Truly, such a life is vanity
of vanities! Empty. Void of all purpose and meaning. This is life without Christ, the true
Light of the World.
The pain and futility of the labour we suffer under the sun is a major theme of Book 21, as we see in
the opening verses:
Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. What profit hath
a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?
Ecclesiastes 1.2f (Spoke 21, Cycle 1)
The strength of this theme can be objectively measured by observing the KJV distribution of
all words based on "labour" such as labour, laboured, laboureth, etc.:
The blue bar on the peak corresponds to the four hits from John's Gospel, which will be discussed below.
The vain solution natural wisdom has to offer for this painful and unceasing labour under the
sun - the
enjoyment of eating and drinking - is presented in verses 8.15f:
Then I commended mirth, because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and
to drink, and to be merry: for that shall abide with him of his labour
the days of his life, which God
giveth him under the sun. When I applied mine heart to know wisdom, and to see the business that is
done upon the earth: (for also there is that neither day nor night seeth sleep with his eyes:) Then
I beheld all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is
done under the sun:
because though a man labour to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yea further; though a
wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it.
Ecclesiastes 8.15f (Spoke 21, Cycle 1)
Natural wisdom will never find the solution to the problem of our pain, toil, and
vanity of life under the sun.
Even the the
wisest amongst us can not find it out - for the true solution is the Work of God himself in the Gospel
of Jesus Christ, which is foolishness to
the "wise men" of the world (cf 1 Cor. 1 ). This is why Jesus defines the Work of God as belief in
God's Son, as we shall soon see below.
The Work of God forms an essential link between Ecclesiastes and John's Gospel. Searching the
entire KJV for all verses that use the phrase "work of God" within two verses of the word
"labour" yields but one other verse. Beginning in John 6.27 we find the divine Wisdom of Jesus
contrasted with the natural wisdom displayed in Ecclesiastes:
Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but
for that meat which endureth unto
everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father
sealed. Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God,
that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
John 6:27f (Spoke 21, Cycle 2)
We have therefore, this Spoke 21 KeyLink that integrates with the theme of "Work of God":
|KeyLink: Man's Labour and the Work of God|
|EcclesiastesGospel of John|
The Work of God is the primary link between Ecclesiastes and John.
This is seen in the distribution of the phrases
"work of God" or "works of God" throughout the KJV: